MECA Charles Butt Project

Charles Butt Oman 011
Charles Butt Oman 011

The Middle East Centre Archive is pleased to announce the completion of the Charles Butt Oman Photo Gallery. The Gallery consists of a selection of 300 images of Oman arranged in 12 themed photo galleries covering Agriculture, Boats and Coast, Buildings and Landscapes, Camel Races, Charles Butt, Flowers and Nature, Food, Military, Oil and Technology, Parades and Displays, People and Sultan Qaboss.

This gallery has been made possible by a generous grant by the Anglo-Omani Society of £3,598.52 for the Charles Butt Project. The Charles Butt Project is a preservation and digitisation project. The project consists of repackaging the entire Charles Butt Photographic Collection in Archival packaging, cataloguing (typing up all the captions and dates written on the slides), scanning the Oman slides (7,143 items), printing contact sheets (to enable easy browsing of images) and making a selection of 300 of the best Oman images available online as a photo gallery.

The Middle East Centre Archive wishes to thank the Anglo-Omani Society for funding the Charles Butt Project and also for all the support given in helping to establish the Oman Archive.

The Charles Butt Photographic Collection constitutes a Collection of outstanding excellence consisting of over 10,000 35mm colour slides covering Charles Butt’s life and service in the Middle East. The majority of the slides (7,143 items) are of Oman. The Collection is exceptional as Charles Butt was a keen amateur photographer (and member of the Royal Photographic Society) so the images are well composed. Charles Butt also meticulously labelled all his slides with captions and dates. The breadth of subjects and places covered in his Oman slides are also remarkable including for example images of Muscat, Mutrah, Bustan, Watayah, Qurum, Sib, Sohar, Aswad, Jebal Akhdar, Sumail, Nizwa, Bahlah, Buraimi, Massandam, Dhofar, Sib as well as slides of important personalities, SAF officers and soldiers, aircraft and warships.

Charles Butt served as a Major in the Sultan’s Armed Forces from 1966-1978. He was initially Station Staff Officer administering 1500 men. He then commanded the desert Advanced Base supporting operation forces on the hills and borders, before being transferred to the Gendarmerie, where he acted as Squadron Commander. He was promoted to Force Welfare Officer and subsequently became Deputy Joint Services Welfare Officer, Ministry of Defence.