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Photo journalist donates archive to University of Sussex

 27 June 2002 

Photo journalist donates archive to University of Sussex

A stunning collection of photographs portraying everyday life and political events in the post-war period has been donated to the Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex.

Euan Duff, a freelance photo-journalist, has donated three collections of his black and white photographs. One of the most interesting collections focuses on the 1950/1960s marches from the Aldermarston atomic research facility to London. The photos show the marchers at every stage of their trek, from sleeping in church halls to arriving at a rain-sodden Trafalgar Square. Mr Duff's mother, Peggy Duff, was once secretary general of CND.

Mr Duff, who now lives in Grantham, saw photography as an effective means of political consciousness raising: "I chose photography as a career while still at school, having seen Picture Post throughout my childhood. I believed that photo-journalism had a raw political power to show what was wrong (or right) about the world."

'How We Are', another collection, uses photographs taken in streets, public places, homes, shops and workplaces to demonstrate the ordinary lives of people in the 1960s.

'Workless' is a study of unemployment in the early 1970s. The images focus on the same family throughout and provide an almost intrusive insight into one man's search for work. However, some photographs have a lighter side, showing families enjoying days out at the seaside, for instance.

Mr Duff donated his work to Sussex because he felt his collections were less about art and more to do with social comment: "I felt the ideological links between what I had tried to do and Mass-Observation were much stronger". He also wanted to share space with Humphrey Spender, a photographer who worked widely on Mass-Observation in the 1930s.

Archivist Dorothy Sheridan said of the new donations: "They are a marvellous addition to our collection in the tradition of Mass-Observation. Hopefully, Euan's work will attract scholars not only from Sussex but all over the world."

With his collections now in the public domain, Mr Duff would like to see others learn from them: "I hope my work might become a little more widely known and might even find some new and, maybe, historical applications."

General photos

Family on beach
Insurance Office
Wedding Group

Location specific photos

Bradford Landscape
Bradford Mill
Canvey Island
Corby Glengreen
Kentish Town
Regents Park
Whitley Bay

 Notes for editors 

For further information, and/or copies of Mr Duff's photographs for reproduction, please contact Benedict Brook, or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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