R.A. Gibson Barmitzvah photo, 1976

This photograph of a 1976 Bar Mitzvah is one of a wealth of images taken by photographer Ronald Gibson from 1952 to 1978, covering a range of family events and ceremonies and demonstrating the increasing diverse population of Hackney. The incredible Gibson archive is part of Hackney Archives.

From his studio at 97 Lower Clapton Road in Hackney, Gibson photographed hundreds of weddings, work parties, Bar Mitzvahs, outings and christenings, as well as individual and family portraits. He was a meticulous record-keeper and his archive of negatives stayed intact in a cupboard in the studio even after he sold his business on. By this work he became the accidental historian of Hackney in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, even though most of the people in the photographs have not yet been identified.

Ronald Gibson

Ronald Gibson’s studio in Hackney








Watch this short film by Hackney Museum to learn more:

Read more about Ronald Gibson’s archive, and see more of his fabulous photos, here.


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Hidden Treasures: Celebrating the documents, photos and artefacts in British archives that tell the story of Jews in Britain