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Album Rock

English student publishes work of creative non-fiction and poetry

Research | Books at Memorial

Part art history, part road trip, part detective story.

Album Rock began when English student and award-winning author Matthew Hollett stumbled across an intriguing photograph from the 1850s on the Corner Brook Museum and Archives website.

Paul-Émile Miot was one of the first photographers to visit Newfoundland. His photo, Rocher peint par les marins français (Rock painted by French sailors), shows the word “album” painted on a prominent rock in Sacred Bay, on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula.

More than 160 years later, the landmark is still known as Album Rock. But what’s the story behind this curious scene? And who are the sailors posing on the rock?

Perceptions of place

A lively and insightful work of creative non-fiction and poetry, Album Rock touches on the history of photography in Newfoundland, Miot’s travels around the French Shore and the power of naming in shaping our perceptions of a place.

It’s also a celebration of curiosity and the joy of delving into the mystery of a peculiar photograph.

Album Rock is published by Boulder Publications.

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