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Photograph albums of Indochina, 1932-1936

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Photograph albums of Indochina

Scope and Content of Collection

These two albums contain photographs of French Indochina (present day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), documenting both urban and rural aspects of the region. The albums cover a wide variety of subjects ranging from French institutions and industry in Indochina, civil engineering projects, military posts and forts, and natural landmarks and views of the countryside, to images of the various indigenous groups of Indochina, scenes of daily life and traditional agriculture, temples, tombs, pagodas, and street, market, and river scenes.

The albums were compiled by a French pilot in the service of Aéro Mre. d'Indochine during the 1930s. Aviation-related images include the air force stations at Tong and Bac Maï, a hydroplane flying over Along Bay, and a group of biplanes in flight.

Most of the photographs in Album I, titled on the spine Souvenir d'Indochine 1933, are from the former regions of Tonkin and Annam (now Vietnam). Some images from the Laotian cities of Luang Prabang and Vientiane, as well as portraits of people from various Laotian indigenous groups, are included at the end of the album. Included in the album are two hand-colored prints.

The title for Album II appears on its last page: Souvenir d'un séjour en Indochine 1932-1936. This album begins with a hand-drawn map of French Indochina followed by a hand-colored studio portrait of the French pilot flanked by panels of Chinese good-luck symbols. The album is divided into sections as follows: Tonkin, Cochinchine, Cambodge, Laos, and La Chine. Each section begins with a page containing the name of the region and a hand-colored studio portrait of a person representative of the region. Half of the album is devoted to Tonkin. Images of Cambodia, mostly from Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, form the second largest section. Included in the album are ten postcards, seven of which bear the credit: Huong Ky Photo Hanoi; two hand-colored prints; and seven hand-colored photographs.

Album I has green half-leather covers. Album II has half-leather and blue silk covers with a dragon painted on the front cover.

Captions on the mounts are in French; many of the aerial photographs also have French captions and the signature Aéro Mre. d'Indochine in the negative. Other photographs are signed G. G. (album II).


The albums are arranged in two series:
Album I: Souvenir d'Indochine, 1933;
Album II: Souvenir d'un séjour en Indochine, 1932-1936.

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