Not just medicine – Dr Barker

Dr Alfred Charles Barker – one of those super talented people who took early Christchurch by storm… or rather by photography!

Barker came to New Zealand from England with his wife and children. As surgeon on the ship Charlotte Jane, he managed to get free passage out here plus a salary as on-board doctor.

After successfully practicing medicine in the Christchurch area, his attention turned to what was apparently his true passion – photography. With an artist’s perception and a doctor’s eye for detail, Barker gives valuable glimpses into the daily life of our city, as it was 150 years ago…

Alfred Charles Barker pictured with his trap

Hurrah for the country life

The Selwyn District collection of heritage photos contains some wonderful glimpses of country life as it used to be. An imposing collection of hats lines up at the annual ploughing match in Waddington in 1909.

Oat stacks as art form. A reminder of skilled farm work.


The collection of photographs of the Selwyn district
is from the Weekly press and the Canterbury times between the 1860s and the 1920s. They have been produced as a joint project between Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Libraries. They were photographed from the newspapers by Stephen Wright.