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Album Photographique: Amélie-les-Bains et Cambodge, 1893-1894

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Album Photographique: Amélie-les-Bains et Cambodge

Scope and Content of Collection

The album of 64 albumen photographs captures Cambodia, and particularly Phnom Penh, at the end of the nineteenth century. While the album begins with three views of Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda, France, the remainder of the images are of Cambodia. Following the views of Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda are a portrait of a European man, likely the compiler and/or photographer of the album, and a map by Paul Pelet titled "Nouvel atlas des colonies francaises Cochinchine et Cambodge."

Approximately half of the photographs in the album document the land, buildings, people, and celebrations of Cambodia. Sixteen of the images show pagodas and palaces, 13 document the peoples of Cambodia and their occupations (including soldiers, elephant drivers, Buddhist monks, and carriers), and five record important local or national celebrations. These include two images of the inauguration of Phnom Penh's Silver Pagoda on 1 January 1894, which was built under the auspices of King Norodom, and three of the fête de Norodom on 17 February 1894.

The remainder of photographs in the album document the French colonial influence on Phnom Penh's cityscape. Included are images of the Treasury, the cathedral, a European style hotel, the Palace of Justice, the hospital, the bank, the public-works building, a prison, and the commerce building. There are also three images that record the demolition and reconstruction of a building along the city's main thoroughfare. Documentation of bridges and waterways shows the effects of the Mekong River as it crests its banks and then becomes nearly empty each year. Two views of a bridge damaged during the floods show it in its original state and during its repair.

The album is half-bound in black leather with navy blue leatherette covers. Light blue and white paper labels adhered to the front cover have the title printed in black ink: 1893-1894 – Album Photographique – Amelie-les-Bains et Cambodge. The album contains 64 photographs mounted on 30 tape-bound pages and one endpaper. The photographs are albumen prints from dry collodion glass plate negatives.

Each photograph is accompanied by a French caption written on the page in black ink. These captions have been used as the titles of the individual photographs. Two of the photographs are credited to Mr. Bosc in their captions.

Note: Phnom Penh is spelled "Pnom-Penh" throughout the album.


The collection is arranged in a single series:
Series I. Album Photographie: Amélie-les-Bains et Cambodge, 1893-1894.

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