AGSL Digital Photo Archive - Asia and Middle East
AGSL Digital Photo Archive presents a selection of images from the extensive photographic holdings of the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library. The images were selected from several collections including the American Geographical Society Library Print Collection, the Harrison Forman Collection, the Robert W. McColl Collection, the Bert Krawczyk Collection, the Edna Schaus Sorensen and Clarence W. Sorensen Collection, and the Helmut de Terra Collection.
The American Geographical Society Library Print Collection represents many decades of research and acquisition. The scope of the collection is worldwide. Dating from the mid nineteenth century to the present, these photographs document a wealth of geographic themes. Many of the photographs were originally donated to the American Geographical Society to illustrate its publications, such as the Bulletin and Geographical Review. The images selected for this project include historical photos of Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Korea, Thailand, Nepal, and China.
Clarence Woodrow Sorensen was an explorer, editor, and CBS staff foreign correspondent who traveled extensively capturing images of the life, work, and historical events of cultures worldwide. During Sorenson's extensive travels, Eugene V. Harris, a professional photographer, accompanied him and took many of 64,000 slides that make up the collection. The slides selected for this project include photos of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey that Sorensen and Harris took in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Krawczyk Collection presents approximately 600 images of China and India taken during World War II by Hubert Krawczyk, a young photographer and artist who was stationed in India, and then assigned to the Hunan (Yunnan) Province of China in 1942 through 1945. The negatives are housed at the American Geographical Society Library and were scanned as part of the 2010-2012 NEH Grant Project to digitize the library's collection of nitrate negatives. The negatives are particularly valuable because he made annotations for his photography of Chinese cultural events and document the regional clothing and costumes of the Chinese people during the 1940s.
The Mary Jo Read Collection consists of approximately 250 negatives, supplemented by hand-colored lantern slides and a descriptive journal of her photography. This small collection of negatives was made in 1935 while Mary Jo Read was on vacation in China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines. She had a selection of these images made into hand colored lantern slides. The negatives and slides are part of a larger collection of photography housed at the American Geographical Society Library. The negatives were scanned as part of the 2010-2012 NEH Grant Project to digitize the AGSL's collection of nitrate negatives.
The current selection of the AGSL Digital Photo Archive focuses on the countries of Asia and the Middle East. The coverage of this digital collection will expand as more photos are added to the site.