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Type of Item
Zeravshan Okrug. Shrine of the Saint Daniara (Daniel) on the Outskirts of Samarkand
This photograph is from the ethnographical part of Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of Central Asia undertaken after imperial Russia assumed control of the region in the 1860s. Commissioned by General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general of Russian Turkestan, the album is in four parts spanning six volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The principal compiler was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. The album contains some ...
Ali Masjid and Surroundings
This photograph of Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ali Masjid is a small shrine located at the narrowest point in the Khyber Pass, to the east of the city of Landi Kotal. The shrine is dedicated to ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (circa 600–661), nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the first converts to Islam. Above the shrine sits a fort, at the highest point of the pass (visible atop the ...
Ali Masjid and the British Camp, 1878
This photograph of the British camp at Ali Masjid is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ali Masjid is located in the narrowest part of the Khyber Pass, and was the first location captured by General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) on his march with the Peshawar Valley Field Force towards Kabul at the start of war. The battle took place on November 21, 1878. Browne’s victorious British and Indian troops faced the Afghan army and tribesmen led ...
Natives of Ziarat-e-Hazratji
This image of a group of people at a Muslim shrine is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ziarat generally means “visit” in Arabic, but here it refers specifically to religious pilgrimage sites found across the Middle East and North Africa and visited by Muslims of all persuasions. The remains of great religious teachers or members of bāyt ʻAlī (the family of ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the fourth Muslim caliph) are buried in such shrines. This monument to Hazratji ...
Kandahar from Hazratji Tomb
This photograph of Kandahar, taken from the Hazratji Tomb, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Located north of the center of the city and surrounded by the tombs of 19th-century Afghan rulers, the tomb is a shrine to Hazratji, a famous Kandahari saint. That his tomb is seven meters long attests to his reputation for holiness. The other tombs have tall marble stones at each end and are decorated with black and white pebbles. The photograph shows the ...
Kirka Sharif, the Shrine Where the Mantle of the Prophet is Preserved
This photograph of the Kirka Sharif (Mosque of the Sacred Cloak) in Kandahar is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Kirka Sharif houses the mantle (cloak) said to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad. It is one of the most-revered relics in the Islamic world, given to Aḥmad Shāh Durrānī (1722–72), ruler of the Durrani Empire (1747–1818) by the amir of Bukhara in about 1768. The interior of the mosque is ornately carved green marble from ...
Views of Great Tibet
These handwritten notes accompany a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society on August 2, 1904. The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. The notes were written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by Tsybikov, Norzunov, and other Mongolians familiar with central Tibet. Alexander Grigoriev, corresponding member of the American Geographical Society, translated ...
Lhasa, Kunduling Monastic Palace from Southeast
This southeastern view of the Kunde-ling monastic palace (also seen as Kunduling or Kontia Ling in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The abbot of this monastic palace was regent (gyel bo or gyal-tsab) at the time of the 1882 visit to Lhasa by Sarat Chandra Das, who described passing the residence of the regent in his 1902 edition of Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet: “. . . we ...
This photograph showing the principal shrines of the Sera monastery, seen from the east, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism (1899), L.A. Waddell writes: “The temples and houses of Sera stand on a slope of the mountain-spur, planted with hollies and cypresses. At a distance these buildings, ranged in the form of an amphitheatre, one above the other, and standing out ...
This panoramic view of the Gah-Idan monastery (also seen as Gadan or Ganden in other sources) is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. The mountain on the right is the Brog ri and the mountain on the left is the Wan-kur-ri (also seen as Wangbur). The Tibetan religious philosopher and teacher of Buddhism, Tson-kha-pa (also seen as Tsongkhapa, Tson-k'apa, or Tsongk'apa in other sources) was the founder of ...
Lhasa, Potala Palace from North-Northeast
This view of Potala (the palace of the Dalai Lama), seen from the north-northeast, is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. A note provided by the photographer, Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, states: “On the roof of Phodang Marpo [the Red Palace] are seen four shrines with (gilded) roofs in Chinese fashion. Half-way up the hill is a low, round, tower-like building, where those coming on horseback to the palace the ...
Antiquities of Samarkand. Shrine of Chupan-Ata. General View from the Southwest
This photograph of the Chupan-Ata mausoleum on the outskirts of Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. This view of the mid-15th century Chupan-Ata mausoleum (mazar) reveals severe damage to both the structure and the dome, as well as to the surrounding wall ...
Syr-Darya Oblast. Aulie-Ata. Shrine of Saint Aulie-Ata
This photograph of a mausoleum (mazar) in Aulie-Ata (present-day Taraz, Kazakhstan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. Taraz is one of Central Asia’s ancient cities, known in the 6th century BC as Talas and subsequently a major point of the Silk Road. It is located in the southern part of Kazakhstan on the Talas ...
Zeravshan Okrug. Shrine of Saint Khodzha Chinar in Urgut
This photograph of the grave shrine (mazar) of the holy Khodzha Chinar in the town of Urgut (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871–72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867–82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. Urgut was located in Zeravshan District (okrug), formed as part of the Russian Empire in 1868 when Russian troops occupied the eastern part of the Khanate of Bukhara (in ...
Annals of the Temple of Marquis Xiao in Taiyangzhou
This work was compiled by Guo Zizhang (1543–1618) and edited and printed by Gan Yinqiu. After Guo received his jin shi degree in 1571, he held various posts, including those of minister of the Bureau of War, censor-in-chief, and the junior guardian of the heir apparent. Guo also had extensive knowledge of history, military strategy, literature, and medicine and was the author of a number of local histories. Shown here is the only extant copy of this work, issued in the second year of the Tianqi reign (1622). It ...
Moslems Worshipping the Shrines Sacred to Islam, Mecca, Arabia
This photograph of a scene in Mecca, present-day Saudi Arabia, is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass ...
Sepulchre of the Venerable Dimitrii Rostovskii with Relics. Near Rostov Velikii. Our Savior-Iakovlevskii Monastery
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Scene upon the Terrace of the Great Dagon Pagoda
This watercolor by Lieutenant Joseph Moore of Her Majesty’s 89th Regiment, British Army, depicts the scene upon the terrace of the Great Dagon Pagoda (Shwedagon Pagoda), in Rangoon, Burma. It was one of a series of pictures drawn by Moore that were subsequently published in London in 1825–26 as aquatint plates under the title Eighteen Views Taken at and near Rangoon. The prints depict various scenes from the First Anglo–Burmese War (1824–26), which the British fought to halt Burmese expansionism and incursions into British India. Rangoon ...