A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Some Great Sources for Old Egypt Photos

This blog frequently indulges in nostalgia, both to provide the historical background of present issues or just to retell some of the important events of the last couple of centuries; as a result I frequently have included old photos, old videos, etc. Many of these have been of Egypt, reflecting that country's centrality in the Arab world and my own personal interest in its history.

I thought I'd call attention to a couple of useful sites for old photos and other imagery of Egypt. As usual don't reproduce things without verifying if they are protected by copyright or are public domain.

The Biblioteca Alexandrina has a collection on Remembering Contemporary Egypt which includes sections for photos, videos, maps, and much else, and covers most of the period since the Napoleonic Expedition/Muhammad ‘ Ali era. Though the Alexandrian library has many pages in English or French, these are all in Arabic. But here, for example, is a page on portraits of public figures: rulers, Prime Ministers, other public personalities. I've only dipped into a few of the areas, but it looks like a great resource. (I blogged last year about another prize from the Biblioteca Alexandrina: The Déscription de l'Égypte Online.

Another useful site for nostalgic browsing is L'Egypte d'antan/Egypt of Bygone Days, (also available in Arabic at كانت أيام).Unfortunately as the home page notes, the author of the site, Max Karkégi-Pacha, died last year, so it is not being updated.

Not limited to Egypt but including it is the collection of thousands of vintage photos online at the New York Public Library:  The Middle East in Early Prints and Photographs.

These aren't the only resource sites, but they'll do for now.


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