RIP Pete James (1958-2018), Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, seen here in the Library's state-of-the-art storage facility, April 2015. Pete was a very important character in my career. For a decade he nursed me through the process of getting my archive into the kind of shape that would give other people a chance to see its worth. And in the process we became good friends. He was a generous, thoughtful and funny man and I miss him. Picture: Luke Meadows. (Pete James obituary: British Journal of Photography 14 March 2018.) 

Daniel Meadows Archive
The Daniel Meadows Archive was acquired by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford in March 2018.

Assembled over nearly five decades the archive contains my life's work — all the negatives and contact sheets associated with my photo-documentary work also a great many contextualising documents including posters, magazines, books, receipts, newsletters, notebooks, diaries, audio tapes, digital stories, my PhD document and research material, and much correspondence besides. It is housed in the Bodleian's Weston Library on the corner of Broad Street and Parks Road.

Whilst being catalogued my archive was subjected to a process of scrutiny led by Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, and Prof. Val Williams of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the University of the Arts London.

With Kelly Bishop (University of South Wales intern), Pete James and Val Williams studying archive material in my darkroom, 2009. Picture: Paul Reas.

My archive is also a case study for the University of Plymouth's Photographers' Archives Research Project. Led by Prof. Jem Southam and Val Millington, this project 'looks at how UK-based, independent photographers, now and for the long-term, can make their work and related contextual material publicly accessible.'

For four years (2014-18) the Daniel Meadows Archive was in the holdings of the Library of Birmingham. However, following the hiatus there (see blog article Another One Bites The Dust by Francis Hodgson, Professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton and Financial Times writer) it was acquired by The Bodleian and transferred to Oxford.

What’s The Catch? Before Daniel Meadows’ Free Photographic Omnibus there was his free photographic studio, Moss Side. 
Blog by Kelly Burchmore, Project Archivist, Special Collections, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries.

June Street
r/t: 5 min, 13 sec.

In 1973, when studying at Manchester Poly, I teamed up with Martin Parr to photograph the residents of a Salford street. In making this movie (2012) I drew heavily on material in my archive, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

<< Roland Barthes >>
Inspirations: 3 of 10

Book. 1981. Camera Lucida, reflections on photography. After years of dispassionate analysis Barthes comes across a photograph of his mother as a child, the "winter garden photograph". He lets his feelings in and suddenly the ideas start bouncing off the page: "I had discovered this photograph by moving back through Time? I worked back through a life, not my own, but the life of someone I love. Starting from her latest image, taken the summer before her death (so tired, so noble, sitting in front of the door of our house, surrounded by my friends), I arrived, traversing three quarters of a century, at the image of a child: I stare intensely at the Sovereign Good of childhood, of the mother, of the mother-as-child. Of course I was then losing her twice over, in her final fatigue and in her first photograph, for me the last; but it was also at this moment that everything turned around and I discovered her as unto herself. "