Who was this traveller? Why did he go to these places? All we know for certain is that in all of these places he took photographs of streets and quaysides, buildings and statues. On most of the negatives, he noted the year when he took the photograph, along with the name of the place. That is how we are able to reconstruct his extraordinary itinerary over nearly 40 years. Can we extract any other information about him from his photographs and the negatives from which they have been printed?
The Conway Library acquired and printed the collection of negatives in 1959, and we have called him the A59 master because most of his photographs have A59 as part of their accession number, denoting the size of negative, followed by the year of acquisition. It is a dry appellation for someone whose photographs are so full of life, but somehow it has stuck. The collection was given to the Conway by Leicester City Museum, but apart from that bare fact, there is no further documentation, either here at the Courtauld or at Leicester.