Helen Barclay Pacific Island Photographs

This collection of family photographs depicts experiences of Europeans in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands during the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Subjects include plantation life, shipping, harbour, village and mission scenes, portraits and landscapes in Tulagi, Makambo, Rere and Siota on Ngela Island, Central Solomon Islands. Images from New Britain show church and village scenes, group portraits and landscapes.

The collection was donated by the late Helen Barclay. The album belonged to Helen Barclay's aunt, Mirrie Waters, the wife of a plantation manager, Harry Waters, in Tulagi, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. The images relate to her time there and date from 1929 to1932. Photos from New Britain were probably taken in the 1920's by Helen Barclay's parents, also plantation residents. 

Helen Barclay

Helen Barclay was born in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, and moved with her parents to the Solomon Islands in the 1930’s. Her father worked on the plantation Lindenhafen Estate in New Britain and was also a labour recruiter. The Australian Museum also holds five letters written by Helen’s mother Mabel at this time.

Helen Barclay made an earlier donation of artefacts to the Australian Museum. These are held in our Cultural Collections.


Nanette Goodsell
Susan Myatt
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