Skip to main content

The Library of Congress Turkestan Album

May 15, 2018

The Turkestanskii Al’bom (Turkestan Album, or Tуркестанский альбом) provides a visual survey of Central Asia from the perspective of the Russian imperial government that took control of the area in the 1850s and 1860s. About 1,200 photographs, with some architectural plans, watercolor drawings, and maps.

Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman (1818-1882), the first governor general of Russian Turkestan, commissioned the albums to acquaint Russians and Westerners with the region. The Russian orientalist A.L. Kun (also spelled Kuhn) compiled the first three parts, and the albums were formerly referred to as the Kun Collection. The other compilers included M.T. Brodovskii, M.A. Terentyev, N.V. Bogaevskii and photographer N.N. Nekhoroshev. The Military-Topographic Department, Military District of Tashkent printed the lithographic parts of each plate. The production work was primarily done in St. Petersburg and Tashkent in 1871-72.

The Library of Congress purchased the albums in 1934 from New York City book dealer Israel Perlstein. Other copies have survived in the National Library of Uzbekistan and the National Library of Russia.

Read More