Item F2282 - Letterbook, 1896-1915

Identity area

Reference code



Letterbook, 1896-1915


  • 1896-1915. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

495 [52] leaves ; bound ; 30 cm.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Aebi was a German-Swiss photographer who migrated to Australia in the 1890s. In 1895 he introduced the half-tone photograph process to Australia while with the Electric Photo Engraving Company of Sydney. This was the beginning of colour photographic printing in Australia. Later in the same year he introduced the technology to the Northern Miner newspaper in Charters Towers and the North Queensland Herald in Townsville before becoming Head Operator of Calvert Studios in Melbourne, a position he held until the end of 1899. From 1900 to 1911 Aebi was head of the School of Photography at Melbourne Technical College, a forerunner of RMIT University, where he taught over 700 students.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Copies of letters from a photographer's shop ordering photographic supplies, discussing photographic processes, invoices, etc. Written in Sydney, Melbourne and Victoria. Most letters in English, some in German and French.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

In fragile physical condition.

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Notes area


Handwritten (carbon copy)
Label inside front cover : Zu haben bei Rothschild Behrens & Co. Adolphsplatz 5, Hamburg.

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




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