Born: 1860, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Died: 18 May 1942, Moonta, South Australia
Matthew Mitchell emigrated with his family from Cornwall, in 1867 to Kadina on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia when he was aged seven. After finishing school he worked for a while at the Wallaroo Mine and then tried his luck prospecting for gold in Western Australia. He became interested in photography when he was a teenager and, after returning from Western Australia, he established a photography business at Kadina. By the late 1870s he was conducting studios on Yorke Peninsula and in Adelaide as well as other country centres in South Australia and Broken Hill and Newcastle in New South Wales. In about 1890 he was appointed official photographer to the Wallaroo Mining and Smelting Company at Kadina, a position he retained until the closure of the mines in 1923. He later worked as a photographer for Holdens in Adelaide. After his retirement he moved back to Kadina where he died in 1942, aged 82.
Mitchell took many hundreds of photographs of the Kadina Mines, and others of street scenes and historical events in Kadina and nearby towns. Copies of some of these photographs are in the State Library of South Australia. His collection in the South Australian Museum Archives comprises a single black and white photograph entitled 'Natives of Kadina district', probably taken in the mid 1880s.