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|Collections Crossover: Emigration and Immigration|
Our latest Collections Crossover explores the topic of migration from a historical perspective, albeit one with a mostly British bias. Between 1815 and 1914 approximately ten million people left Britain, with the majority going to the United States of America, Canada and Australia. With this in mind, we've concentrated on these three areas, and also people migrating to Britain, the numbers of whom were dwarfed by those emigrating in the same period.
Our images on this subject come from wide-ranging sources: our own archive of prints and photographs, Peter Higginbotham's collection focusing on workhouses, Onslow Auctions Ltd, the Everett Collection, Keystone Pictures through Zuma Press, and the ever-useful Illustrated London News archive, amongst others.
Our image collection is strongest documenting the next wave from 1890 to the 1920s. Included in this are many images from the Peter Higginbotham Collection of child migrants sent to Canada by Dr Barnardo's Homes to be indentured farm labourers and domestics. So many were sent that over 10% of the Canadian population today are descendants of these children. Also of note is a letter sent by two Titanic passengers, Esther Hart and her daughter Eva, travelling second class to start a new life in Canada. Esther and Eva were rescued by RMS Carpathia but Eva's father Benjamin died in the disaster.
Our images focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, when immigrants from every corner of Europe flocked to the US in search of a better life or freedom from persecution. The historical collection of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung contributes some excellent pictures here of German migrants who settled predominantly in the American Midwest. They were processed first through Castle Garden in New York, and then from 1892 through Ellis Island, the busiest inspection and processing station in the US. The inevitable backlash against the large numbers arriving produced satirical anti-immigration cartoons in the 1890s which traded on fears about health and security.
Another area of focus is migration from British Commonwealth countries to the UK, particularly after World War Two when people were encouraged to come to Britain to help rebuild the country in the post-war period. The 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking at Tilbury in June 1948 was celebrated earlier this summer. The ship carried more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean coming to work in the transport system, factories and the newly-created NHS. Photographs by Roger Mayne and Maurice Ambler taken in the 1950s and '60s capture these communities and the adversity they faced integrating into their adopted country.
If you need archive stills, do contact us. We'd be happy to help with research or a quote. Get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 020 8318 0034.
|Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd. 59 Tranquil Vale Blackheath London SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.|