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Surfacing Community History

Posted by Tracey Butler on 3 September 2015 | 0 Comments

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One of the very first collections to be ingested into Recollect was the Revelle Jackson collection from Upper Hutt City Libraries.

Revelle Jackson

Jackson established himself as a photographer in the 1960s, and ~8000 photographs of the Upper Hutt Community are live on Upper Hutt Library's Recollect site.  The images are varied - from formal wedding and portrait photography through to community events and local streetscapes.  Jackson was also a photographer for the Upper Hutt Leader from around 1964 and contributed many photographs each week.  This collection of photographs is absolute magic, both as 'captured moments' and as a window into the social history of 1960s and 70s.


Something really special happened in the testing phase of the very early UHCL site when the lead developer discovered his parents' wedding photos within the collection.  He showed them to his mother, who provided the contextual information that was missing from the 'official' metadata - the date, the place, and the identities of the wedding party.

The date and place was used by the Library team to enhance the core metadata of these items, and the photographs were 'tagged' with the people's names.  This ability to harness the knowledge of the community to provide a richer story is one of the core functions and features of Recollect, and is the part that really gets us excited. Finding these personal images within Jackson's collection at an early stage of the product development was pivotal: it really cemented how powerful this feature could be. Here are some more examples


It was with some sadness then that we learned of Revelle Jackson's recent passing (at 96 years of age). An article in the Upper Hutt Leader (8 July 2015) hints that the 8000 images in UHCL's Recollect site is just a fraction of his lifetime of work, and it also says that "Jackson was proud of his photography endeavours and satisfied with its increased availability with the Recollect site", particularly with the access it provides to those featured in the photographs.

Take a Look

One of our favourites images is shown below, but we recommend taking some time to browse the entire collection.

RJ uhcl



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