Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part


This work is the “Archaeological Part” of the Turkestan Album, which contains a detailed visual record of the Islamic architecture of Samarkand as it appeared shortly after the Russian conquest in the 1860s. The mid-to-late 19th century was when the Russian Empire expanded into Central Asia, annexing territories located in present-day Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russian armies occupied Tashkent in 1865 and Samarkand in 1868. 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 Turkestan Album, a visual survey of Central Asia 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 A.L. Kun, who was assisted by N.V. Bogaevskii. Production of the album was completed in 1871–72. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Туркестанский Альбом, Часть Археологическая

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 album (2 volumes with 6 unnumbered pages, 154 unnumbered leaves of plates, including 317 mounted photographs and 40 mounted watercolor drawings) : albumen prints and watercolors ; 45 x 60 centimeters.

Last updated: September 30, 2016