The Archive Itself
The collection was found in a remote field in three very distressed black magic lantern slide boxes. We now believe these were manufactured by the firm of J Lizars of Glasgow, with each designed to carry approximately eighty square glass slides (see stock file image above). We also now believe, that when first found in 2005, each box contained the ordered material for one talk., i.e., one talk on each of three expeditions. The only date clues were that one box had a scrap of paper with "Bulg 33/34" on it and that three of the slides show hand drawn itinerary maps (see below). As these were labelled Bulgaria, Jugoslavia, and Montenegro + Serbia respectively, we suspect one map slide was a major feature of each box (talk).
However, long before we appreciated the significance of the find, slides were randomly removed and casually inspected, and not replaced to their same position, and in some cases, not even into the same box. This has greatly confused all our subsequent investigations.
One in four of all the Archive images are of plant specimens.
Being black & white images, they are probably of little current interest, except perhaps to Kew Gardens..?However, the remaining 75% of the images are Balkan locations and break down as follows:Bulgaria: 18%., Macedonia: 17%., Italy: 13%., Montenegro:11%Kosovo: 10%., Croatia: 6%., Bosnia-H: 1%.
These form the central archival interest in this research.
Where we know the locations, we show them here on our several "Then & Now" pages.
This leaves between twenty and thirty unidentified images. These will be shown on our Unidentified Locations pages, both in English and in Bulgarian, with a general appeal to help identify them. This is work currently in progress and may take a little time.
Again, when the significance of the find was only just beginning to dawn on us, no particular instructions were given to the scanning firm of Charles Wheadon. Lyme Regis, who were given the task of digitizing the collection. Fortunately, and with great foresight, these were scanned and formatted as high resolution .TIFF files. Also, a number of the slides were inadvertantly scanned from left to right rather than right to left. This subsequently added to the difficulty in identifying those particular locations.
High resolution framed prints are now available. Please contact us.
[TIFF stands for "Tagged Image File Format" and is a standard in the printing and publishing industry. TIFF files are significantly larger than their JPEG counterparts, and can be either uncompressed or compressed using lossless compression].
Above, we show images of the find, both before and after cataloging in 2013.