Created between 1853 and 1867, the Tressider Album is a “photographic diary'' compiled by the British civil surgeon, John Nicholas Tressider, documenting his time in colonial India as well as the events of the 1857 Siege of Cawnpore (now Kanpur).
Born in 1820 in England, Tressider worked for the Indian Medical Service from 1842 to 1877. During this period, he was posted in different cities across northern India and travelled extensively. The Album consists of photographs from these travels and from Cawnpore – where he lived 1854 onwards – alongwith portraits of Indians, medical colleagues, bureaucratic officials, military personnel and family members. It also includes photographs taken by his associates and fellow photographers Dr John Murray, Felice Beato and Donald Horne McFarlane.
The Tressider Album is one of the earliest records of the aftermath of the Cawnpore uprising, documenting views such as the Wheeler’s Entrenchment, the site of the Bibighar slaughter and the Sati Chaura Ghat. It consists of over nine hundred albumen prints (and a few salt prints) spread across 180 pages in groups of four or five, and is roughly divided into three sections: images taken in India, a collection of prints and drawings in the style of mid-nineteenth-century English albums, and, lastly, images taken in Falmouth, UK. Each photograph is accompanied by a caption handwritten in ink and pencil by Tressider himself, and a majority of the folios are categorised under titles such as “JNT’s Family”, “Cawnpore”, “Agra”, etc.
The Tressider Album is housed at the Alkazi Collection of Photography, New Delhi.
The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts. “Tressider Album.” Accessed July 25, 2021. https://alkazifoundation.org/the-tressider-album-1857-1863/
Vishwanathan, Rashmi. “The Tresidder Album: A Case Study of a Private “Ethnography'’.” Trans Asia Photography 7, no. 1 (Fall 2016). http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7977573.0007.104.
Willcock, Sean Robert. “Insurgent Citizenship: Dr John Nicholas Tresidder's Photographs of War and Peace in British India.” British Art Studies 4. http://britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-4/insurgent-citizenship#figure4