Raissa Page (1932-2011) became a self-taught documentary photographer after a successful career in social care. Her photography captures the lives of marginalised groups at times of social change during the late 20th century. She was also a founder member of the trailblazing all-female FORMAT Photographic Agency in the 1980s.
Catalogued in 2019, with funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Raissa Page Collection ranges from 1978 to 2010 and comprises photographs,, transparencies, negatives, slides, notebooks, audio and printed material. It includes -
The collection has wide, inter-disciplinary interest (e.g. ageing, disability, social science, human geography), alongside the more obvious areas of photography and 20th century social and political history.
Further examples of its research use can be found in our subject guides -
Dancing on the silos, Greenham Common, 1 January 1983 (Ref. DC3/14/1/67) Photograph by Raissa Page.
Protected by copyright. Not to be reproduced without permission, please contact Richard Burton Archives
In November 2020 we welcomed 80 guests to an online event ‘Raissa Page: Life Through a Different Lens’ as part of the Being Human Festival events at Swansea University. We were joined by the archivist who catalogued the collection, David Johnston-Smith, who gave an informative overview of Raissa’s life from childhood until her career in photography, and by photographer and friend of Raissa, Anita Corbin, who gave a personal account of Raissa’s photographic career and impact.
Explore Raissa Page’s most thought-provoking images through the eyes of historians, photographers, archivists, and most importantly, your own
The event launched our online exhibition, which showcases images chosen by historians, academics, photographers, archivists and friends of Raissa Page, and records their responses to them. We also encouraged people to leave their own responses and comments on the exhibition pages.
A recording of the event is available below.
Archivist and writer, David-Johnston Smith, is currently working on a book about Raissa Page, which will act as a primer for her life, work and photographic collection.
The research and writing part of the project is now complete, and the book will be published in 2022. It is hoped that it will act as an introductory work to encourage further research and exploration of the photographer and her photographs.
The book will contain an extensive range of Raissa’s photography from the late 1970s to the early 1990s along with -
The Raissa Page collection was used as the basis for ‘Communicating History’, an MA History module at Swansea University, in which students explore an archival collection and communicate its potential to the public. The students produced a jointly created website aimed at a non-academic audience, individual oral presentations, and a co-authored reflective report on their experience.
The module usually takes place in the Archives Reading Room, where students are able to access material, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic they had to rely entirely on the online catalogue, selected digital items, and Zoom sessions.
The students' website can be viewed here.
‘The students warmed to Raissa Page’s photography and the project immediately. They identified themes of personal interest and demonstrated their ability to analyse the available digital images from the Archives and to work with other online sources and each other.'
Dr Jonathan Dunnage, Associate Professor of Modern European History, Swansea University