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Serena Wadham


Serena Wadham (1930-2006) was a photojournalist who was based in Islington from the late 1960s until 1987, when she retired to Cornwall, spending her final years at Middle Georgia Farm, Nancledra, near St Ives. After her death her family presented a substantial collection of her negatives, contact sheets and prints, plus some press material and correspondence, to the Morrab Library in Penzance. In May 2008 an exhibition was held at the Library, curated by Robin Lenman, who has also compiled this catalogue. The bulk of the collection relates to Serena Wadham's activities in and around London. But the rest comprises Cornish themes such as early journalistic assignments, the landscape, neighbours and farming around Nancledra, and a 1990s campaign against the redevelopment of Hayle. The photographic prints have been subdivided into subject categories and are mostly stored in A4-format box files, numbered 1-18; negatives and contact prints (mostly in flat cardboard boxes, individually numbered), albums and some miscellaneous material, including larger-format items, are contained in large archival boxes, numbered I-VIII. The selection of c. 80 exhibition pictures, with mounts and captions, is held separately in an archival portfolio.

Although some prints and contact sheets are captioned with information about subjects and people photographed, SW rarely included dates. However, she assiduously numbered negatives, contact sheets and some prints, and a selection of numbers have been given in the attached chronology.