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Under Construction

21 August 2017
Precious photographs that record history

When wet-plate negatives were the latest in photographic technology, one of the University’s first professors, John Smith, was fascinated by this process and created many precious plates that document the history of the University.

One of the biggest construction booms in the University’s history is transforming the campus. This being the 21st century there’s no shortage of progress photos. But in the 19th century, when many of our most precious buildings were built, photography was in its infancy.

Luckily, one of the University’s first professors, John Smith, was fascinated by this new technology. Here are a few of his photographs, taken as the early buildings took shape.

Smith can often be seen in his own photographs, looking at his watch as he times the long exposures required.

All historic photographs supplied by the University of Sydney Archives.

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