Football can also bring photograph collections together. In 2008, an enigmatic album of photos collected by Harold Edwards Peck, a policeman in the Shanghai Municipal Police, was lent to the Historical Photographs of China project and digitised. Two years later, we happened to be lent a collection of photographs once owned by another policeman in the Shanghai Municipal Police, John Sullivan.
It became apparent that Peck and Sullivan were certainly contemporaneous colleagues, and may even have been friends: some of the prints in both collections were off the same negatives, and some were images of outings – hunting or houseboat trips from Shanghai – seemingly undertaken together. Satisfyingly, these remarkable coincidents included images of the same game of football (Pe01-065 and Su01-64), now reunited after about a hundred years: