Mapping Paris through the State Library Victoria's French photographic albums
Philip's honorary fellowship project mapped the State Library's collection of French photographs, donated to Victoria in 1880, to understand how, through the photographs' organisation into albums, an image of Paris was created.
The rare resource, which includes the largest collection of Charles Marville photographs to be found outside France, offers unique insights into the radical urban changes that had taken place in Paris in the 19th century. The mapping project reveals how the compilers of the albums 'edited' their city – which areas were focused on, which parts were excluded – to create an image of the city for an international audience at home (Exposition Universalle Paris, 1878) and abroad (International Exhibition Melbourne, 1880).
With an emphasis on the work of Marville, the literal mapping of the albums' contents to the depicted sites allows new interpretations of how Paris was pictured by the photographers and the city administration who collated these images for display, and how the spectacle of Paris was conceived abroad. The outcome is a series of original maps of Paris and academic essays.