Imogen Watt-REMLA Post 1

September 29, 2017by imogenwattNewsRoyal Engineers Museum and Archive (17/18)

As a third year university student at UCA Rochester, I have had the opportunity to work with the Royal Engineers Museum to create a piece of art using their archive. After having a tour through the museum, the library and the archive, I soon realised there was a huge collection to work with and what a privilege it was to gain access to years of documentation from across the globe. The museum itself has an enormous rage of artefacts and objects collected over the years, and the library is breaming with books dating back centuries, but it was the archive of photographs that really engaged and excited me. I have always been interested in, and enjoyed looking through old family imagery, and specifically military photographs and documents, so I couldn’t help but be enticed by the endless archive of Royal Engineer imagery. My initial idea is to research into the history of the Royal Engineers using the many sources in the library, and then create a kind of time line demonstrating the changes of the roles of the engineers over the years. I wanted to do this using the imagery in the archive. I started to look through the thousands of photographs and found everything from portraits dating back to the start of the 1800’s and field photography of expeditions in the 1900’s, to modern day imagery of the engineers at work. I started to narrow down the images to one from every 20 years, and began to see not only how the work that they do has developed, but also how photography itself has changed with technology over the years.