Recently, a new-found snippet of information triggered a reassessment of the ownership and authorship of the four 1897 cricket films of the English team playing at the Association Cricket Ground in Sydney. These films, customarily attributed to the Australian photographer Henry Walter Barnett (HWB, 1862-1934), are recognised as the earliest series of cricket films produced. Unfortunately only one of them remains, and it is held by the British Film Institute.
Even so, when the the discovery of new information challenges the prevailing attribution of a creative work, archivists and curators need to seek confirmation one way or another. These days, with many more research tools available, work undertaken to confirm the facts can raise more questions than can be answered giving rise to hypotheses based on a rigorous research process. Such is the case with these four films. In consultation with colleague Simon Smith and cricket expert Glenn Gibson, we have discussed the issues at hand: how does this new information change what we know and does it alter the significance of the films? The following is an encapsulation of our findings.