In 2016 when Michael Harverson passed away, his collection of mill material was left to us. We knew his collection would be a valuable asset to the Archive. Of particular interest to Michael, and indeed to us, was his prolific study of Middle Eastern and Persian mills, more intimately those in Iran and Afghanistan.
Michael Harverson was one of the Mills Archive’s first trustees. He was someone for whom I had great respect and he was a true gentleman.
Having just completed a preliminary catalogue of his collection, I have seen just how important an asset his study of mills is. One particular visit to Morocco in 1985 resulted in him compiling a detailed narrative of his North African adventures in the Atlas Mountains illustrated with photographs from his visit studying watermills in the region..
What makes this album fascinating is the subject matter of the photographs. The narrative explores the process of milling, using photos of millers and their families to show how much the community was involved in this central part of daily life.
Now his collection has been repackaged it will be stored at our off-site repository. The next stage will be to secure funding to digitise the images and documents so that people around the world can enjoy them. In the meantime, his wonderful collection may be consulted at Watlington House. If you would like to see his collection for yourself we would love to hear from you.