The Museum would like to thank Robert Dawson for donating his substantial Romani Holocaust Photographic Collection. 

These items are currently being catalogued and researched and will be availble to view shortly.

Robert Dawson

 Robert Dawson first became interested in Romani people 60 years ago at the age of 11. Initially, he was keen to learn the Romani language but in time the interest expanded to include any and all aspects of Romani people in the UK and elsewhere, but especially the former and to actively work with Gypsies and Travellers to improve education and living standards. One of the greatest compliments ever paid to him was the presentation of a Lifetime Award by the community for his work; another is presidency of the largest British Gypsy organization. 

Robert has split his vast collection into several segments. The National Holocaust Museum at Laxton, Nottinghamshire, has acquired the Romani Holocaust items; his 10,000 strong general Romani collection at Reading University (Rural Studies) range from very rare books to traditional cooking utensils and crafts;  the Brotherton Collection at Leeds University has Yorkshire items; his English collection is with the Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups; his Scottish with several museums  and his European with the Roma Support Group in London. Some small segments have yet to be placed.

His own career has hardly ever directly touched his Romani passion: He trained and qualified as a journalist and became a specialist crime reporter. He then retrained, qualified as a teacher and until enforced retirement through ill health was a head teacher.  The over 80 books and specialist papers on Romani and other Travellers which he has authored include many important and previously unknown results of research such as wayside burials, British Gypsy slavery and numerous language aspects.

Available books include:

The Porajmos: Photos of the Gypsy Holocaust in WW2

Never Gypsies and Travellers: Prejudice and Stereotypes in Children’s Literature

Gypsy and Traveller History in the UK: A Pack for Schools and Youth Groups

Forget: A Photographic Supplement to the Romani Holocaust