Meeting Jinx Rodger was quite an experience. Having read so much about her and her life with George Rodger in articles and in Carole Naggar’s biography, I felt pretty nervous to meet her.
The visit was fleeting really; I met Jinx, her son Jon and Carole Naggar and spent about two hours with them. I learnt that Jon had started to work on building a website of George Rodger’s work to showcase it. At this point I had only just started my more serious research into digitisation, and when I got to have a small look at the archive, I could only see its potential.
Carole had an interest in looking at the London Blitz and wartime work. So Jinx went through the archive to look for diaries and contact sheets from Belson. Watching Jinx work through the archive is great to watch: she is the sole archivist and knows exactly where everything is. Not only this but she helped make the archive so has a real personal connection to it.
From this point in November, I wasn’t sure what or how I wanted to approach the archive; but what I did know was that I wanted to hear more stories from Jinx, her personal account of her photographic life with George.
It was great to put a face to a name with Carole Naggar as well. I had sat in on an interview with her and David Campbell talking about George Rodger for the #Phonar classes and she knows everything that needs to be known about George from writing his biography.
This trip left me coming away a little star-struck and unsure as to what route I wanted to take my project. However, since researching more into archives and revisiting Jinx on a few more occasions, ideas have sunk in to showcase the stories of the archive as told by its creator and archivist Jinx Rodger.