Turkestan Album, Industrial Crafts and Trades Part


In the mid-to-late 19th century, the Russian Empire expanded into Central Asia, annexing territories located in present-day Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Tsar Alexander II approved the establishment of the governor-generalship of Russian Turkestan in 1867. General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general, commissioned the Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of the region that includes some 1,200 photographs, along with architectural plans, watercolor drawings, and maps. The work is in four parts, spanning six large, leather-bound volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The compiler of the first three parts was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. Production of the album was completed in 1871–72. Presented here is the “Trades Part,” containing 212 mounted photographs and 1 mounted drawing on 44 plates. The crafts and occupations shown are textiles (plates 1-10); metalwork and mining (plates 11-19); timber and woodwork (plates 20-24); leatherwork (plates 25-30); agriculture, baking, and other products (plates 31-41); and pottery making and other small industries (plates 42-44). The Library of Congress acquired a complete set of the volumes in 1934; other surviving copies are in the National Library of Uzbekistan and the National Library of Russia.

Last updated: September 30, 2016