Today we have released online a new collection of 184 photographs, the vast majority documenting events during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution in Wuhan. The album of photographs was shared with us by the family of former British consular official Stanley Wyatt-Smith (1887-1958). Some of these images will be familiar to readers of Hanchao Lu’s book The Birth of a Republic: Francis Stafford’s Photographs of China’s 1911 Revolution and Beyond (2010), but many are certainly new to us. Wyatt-Smith, like Stafford, bought or otherwise acquired photographs, although unlike the latter, he does not seem to have taken any.
Many of the images in the Stanley Wyatt-Smith collection are quite dramatic, and some, we should warn you, also show in gory detail the aftermath of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary violence. They were all mounted in a single large-format album, somewhat the worse for wear, but here they now are, and we are grateful to the family for sharing them with us. As always, we would be pleased to hear from you if you can help us better annotate these photographs.