This consists of two sets of picture postcards depicting Formosa under Japanese rule, in the forms of albums. They are currently stored in the Material Culture Room in the Anthropology Department, UCL.
The first set, accession number Z0001a, is a concertina folded album, with hard, decorated, black fabric covers and grey, wood-ground paper leaves. It mesures 23.5cm long, 19cm wide and 4.8cm high, and consists of 45 leaves (90 pages) and 107 postcards. The postcards were mounted on both sides of the leaves (two on each side). The album is in good condition except of some abrasion on the surface and the yellowing of the postcards.
These postcards were printed in Japan in the early 20th century. They were probably transported to Taiwan and collected by the family of Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell, Jr., who worked in Sin-Lau Hospital in Taiwan from 1900 to 1923. After that, the albums are assumed to have been donated to the Presbyterian Church of England, in which the father of Dr. Maxwell, Jr. served. In 1972, they became part of the United Reform Church collections when the Presbyterian Church of England was merged. And then the branch of URC in Marchmont Street gave them to the Library of Anthropology Department of UCL. The two volumes are of great historic and research value, especially for individuals or organizations interested in Formosan history and Presbyterian history. The picture postcards depicting the historic scenes of Taiwan are important visual documentations for ethnographic research. The association between the objects and the Maxwell family, who are important for Presbyterian and medical development in Taiwan, increases the objects’ significance to Formosan history.
The front cover of object Z0001a
The leaves and postcards of object Z0001a
The front cover of object Z0001b
The leaves and postcards of object Z0001b
The written inscriptions on the back of a postcard
The hand-coloured postcard
This post refers to coursework done for ARCLG142 (2015-16), one of the core courses of the UCL MA Principles of Conservation. As part of their assessed work for this course, students were asked to investigate objects from the UCL Ethnography Collections at the UCL Department of Anthropology. Here they present a summary of their main conclusions. We hope you enjoy our work! Comments are most welcome.