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Inventory for A3373 
Collection Index:Ronald Ngilima Photographs, 1940s - 1960s
Collection Name:Ronald Ngilima Photographs
Collection - A3373
A3373 Ronald Ngilima Photographs, 1940s - 1960s 
  
 Copyright 2014, Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 
  
  
 Approximately 5600 negatives 
  
  
 INTRODUCTION 
  
 The collection contains the photographic archive of Ronald Ngilima, dating from the late 1940s until he died tragically on the 13 March 1960. After his death his son Torrance continued photographing and adding his negatives to the collection for another 5 years. Torrance died on the 19 of April 1998. 
  
 In 1999, Ronald's grandson Farrell Ngilima, re-discovered the negatives which had been kept safely by Ronald's wife Sarah. He decided to create a foundation in order to promote his grandfather's legacy for the benefit of the Wattville community and to guarantee the long-term preservation of the original negatives. In 2012 the Ronald Ngilima Photographic Archive Foundation was finally conceptualised by Farrell Ngilima and Sophie Feyder. 
  
 Farrell Ngilima was joined by Sophie Feyder in 2008, who was at the time a visual researcher and PhD student from the Leiden University in the Netherlands. From 2010 the Ngilima collection became the object of her PhD study as part of a larger research project from the Leiden University and has been the subject of published journal articles. See also this website http://africaphotography.org/collections/ronald-torrance-ngilima (link not active here). 
  
  
 COLLECTION 
  
 The images in the Ronald Ngilima collection consist of commissioned portraits and documentary photographs of the communities in the Benoni Old Location and the Wattville township. They depict people from the various Coloured, Indian and African communities in their homes, on the streets and in the studio that Ronald Ngilima had set up in his living room.  
  
 The individual images in the collection have remained largely undescribed, with the negatives stored in several boxes labelled A-Y and numbered RN001-RN5671.  
  
 The negatives were scanned at the Centre for Curating the Archives at the University of Cape Town, after which they were deposited at the Historical Papers Research Archive. There are no photographic prints of any of the negatives. The digital images are available to researchers in the Reading Room of Historical Papers. 
  
 The description of the box content makes use of a common terminology used in the racially divided South African context. 
  
RN001-RN513 
 Including indoor and outdoor activities; in front of car; with turntable; photos of weight lifters; in front of Wilberforce Institute. Contains the negatives from "Sleeve" and "Blue envelope"  
RN514-RN1087 
 Including couples; birthday and wedding functions; wedding couples; Master Abdullah Khan; SA police Non-European Training depot 
RN1088-RN1389 
 Including religious outfits; at the train; wedding groups; display of car 
RN1390-RN1431 
 Including Sangoma; on motorbike 
RN1432-1787 
 Including with horse; in hospital bed; boxing; in front of ambulance 
RN1788-RN2060 
 Mainly Coloured community, including group of womenin church attire; police man; women at piano; at kitchen stove;  
RN2061-RN2298 
 Mainly Indian community including Indian attire; next to car; African male individuals 
RN2299-RN2441 
 Large part babies and small children; images relating to a man called Mpongose, dated 6 January 1960 
RN2442-RN2623 
 Large part women individuals 
RN2624-RN2810 
 Mainly babies and small children 
RN2811-RN2991 
 Mainly Coloured community, individuals, couples and groups;  
RN2992-RN3126 
 Individuals and groups 
RN3127-RN3238 
 Mainly Coloured and Indian communities, individuals and groups 
RN3239-RN3373 
 Mainly Coloured community, individuals and groups 
RN3374-RN3475 
 Individuals and groups, including man with sewing machine 
RN3476-RN3619 
 Including mainly African nurses (with White nurse holding 2 African babies); women individuals, mainly Indian and Coloured communities 
RN3620-RN3750 
 Staff and student nurses, individuals and groups; African workers posing at entrance door to 'Dingler' Tobacco company 
RN3751-RN3918 
 Wedding photos; couple reading 'Life' magazine; at the kitchen stove; girls reading 'Zonk' newspaper;  
RN3919-RN4092 
 Women in church attire; boxing; with car of the 'Brandweek dept Benoni';  
RN4093-RN4154 
 Images of workers and security guard from the 'Dingler' Tobacco company  
RN4155-RN4265 
 Including Sangoma or traditional healer posing with child 
RN4265-RN4345; RN5661-RN5671 
 Including lady at telephone; many holding record album 'Strobe';  
RN4346-RN5194 
 15 rolls of negatives, including weddings; man with various musical instruments; baby pram; drinking Castle beer (clear label); church groups; Ngilima cover photo (RN4728, roll 10); body building; beauty contest (rolls 13, 14);  
RN5195-RN5671 
 Indian families; with horse; woman in baseball attire; woman Sangoma or traditional healer; group of body builders; at piano and with accordion; police man at depot; man with photo equipment. Item RN5364Y depicts a photographer with his equipment, who might be Ronald Ngilima? 
  
VARIOUS 
  
Z1 Unscanned negatives 
Z2 4 photographs, unknown 
Z3 3 membership cards of Ronald Ngilima, L. Dingler factory in Benoni, which entitled him to benefits by the Transvaal Tobacco Industry Medical Benefit Society, issued 1946, 1950, 1956 
Z4 Original Kodak paper boxes (contained in one large box) 
Z5 Miscellenous items 
Z6 Description of the Ronald Ngilima Photoraphic Archive 
 Stored with photographic collection 
Z6.1 The Ronald Ngilima Photographic Archive Mission statement, 2012 
Z6.2 "Ngilima & Son (& grandson): The story of an ambulant photographer and his archive" by Sopie Feyder, 2011 
Z6.3 "Lounge photography and the politics of Township interiors: The representation of the Black South African home in the Ngilima Photographic Collection, East Rand, 1950s" by Sopie Feyder, published in Kronos, no. 38, 2012, copy of article 
Z6.4 "A space of one's own: Studio photography and the making of Black urban femininities in the 1950s East Rand" by Sophie Feyder, published in Safundi: The journal of South African and American Studies, 2014, copy of article