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Friday, April 13, 2007

Sultan Abdulhamid II Collection - Photography Archive

The Abdul-Hamid collection photography archive contains over 1,800 photographs from the Ottoman Empire. Dating from approximately 1880 to 1893, the images show scenes within the borders of modern Turkey, as well as Ottoman provinces in Greater Syria, Greece and modern Iraq. The photos in the collection were originally presented to the Library of Congress by Sultan Abdul-Hamid II in 1894.

This monumental collection portrays the Ottoman Empire during the reign of one of its last sultans, Abdul-Hamid II. The 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums date from about 1880 to 1893. They highlight the modernization of numerous aspects of the Ottoman Empire, featuring images of educational facilities and students; well-equipped army and navy personnel and facilities; technologically advanced lifesaving and fire fighting brigades; factories; mines; harbors; hospitals; and government buildings. Most of the places depicted are within the boundaries of modern-day Turkey, but buildings and sites in Iraq, Lebanon, Greece and other countries are also included.

The images are well displayed on dedicated pages and are available as thumbnails. The main drawback of the website is its organisation as there is no comprehensive index of subjects linked to the home page. However, despite this the collection is still an excellent resource. The photographs give viewers an excellent sense of the Ottoman empire during its final decades.

Photograph © Title: Abdulhamit II, Sultan of the Turks, 1842-1918. Half lgth., standing, right profile. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).Library Of Congress. Prints and Photographic Division,

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