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20. Bessie Mountford's tent
Title : 20. Bessie Mountford's tent 20. Bessie Mountford's tent
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P. (Charles Pearcy), 1890-1976, photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/2882
Date of creation : 1948
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 X 60 mm
Catalogue record
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Description :

Tent occupied by Mrs Bessie Mountford at the Yirrkala camp of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. Bessie Mountford acted as secretary to the Expedition.

Mrs Mountford's duties mainly included secretarial work for her husband, but at other times she was kept very busy typing for the other members of the Expedition, and receiving and distributing the mail which arrived by plane. Mrs Mountford also assisted the American Anthropologist, Frank Setzler, by taking down records whilst he collected hair samples and palm prints from the Aboriginal people at Umbakumba. During her time in Arnhem Land, Bessie Mountford took photographs and recorded her experiences and interactions with the people in extensive diary notes (See PRG 487/1/1-5).

Charles Mountford originally captioned this photograph: Johnnie's Tent, Johnnie being the nickname he used for Bessie, whose maiden name was Johnstone.
Related names :

Mountford, Bessie Ilma, 1890-1996

American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, (1948)

Coverage year : 1948
Place : Arnhem Land
Region : Northern Territory
Further reading :

Lamshed, Max, 'Monty' : the biography of C.P. Mountford, [Adelaide] : Rigby, 1972

May, Sally K. Collecting cultures : myth, politics, and collaboration in the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition, Lanham, Md. : AltaMira Press, 2010

Mountford, Bessie Ilma, Manuscript diaries, Arnhem Land, 5 diaries dated March 18 - November 10, 1948, PRG 487/1/1-5

Reports of Staff
, Expedition to Arnhem Land, 1948, Mountford-Sheard Collection PRG 1218/17/17.



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