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Libyan photograph album


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The photographs in this album show Libya in 1937 when it was under Italian colonial rule. The trip by the anonymous photographer and his friend begins in Rome on April 30, 1937 and their last day in Libya appears to have been May 6th. It's possible that they stopped in Tunis on their way to Libya, which is suggested by a "Claridge Hotel – Tunis" postcard that is included in the album. The nationality of the two men is unclear, but presumably is either German or Italian. The person seen in the album who is most likely the photographer is a man wearing a light toned suit jacket and holding a camera in photograph #1. This same man with a camera appears in photograph #2, to the left of a second man. This second photograph is captioned "The Air Travellers," which implies that these men are "A. B." and "G. S. W." from the album's inscription, but which is which, or even if this is true can't be verified.

This bound album contains 98 black and white photographs taken during a trip to Libya in 1937 by an anonymous photographer. The overall technical and artistic quality of the photographs, along with how they are presented in the album suggest a photographer of above-average skill and experience. The album is inscribed: "A. B. in memory of the May days of 1937 in Tripoli in friendship G. S. W." With the exception of the first four photographs, the album consists of images that show scenes around Libya, such as the Hotel Albergo Mehari, a camel market, Tripoli Castle, a coastal oasis, a Bedouin village, markets and bazaars. Prominent locations shown include, Tripoli, Sabratha, Leptis Magna, Zliten, and Yefren. Additionally, photographs of people, including children, locals, officials, and soldiers can be found throughout. The first four photographs in the album appear to be scenes just prior to leaving Italy, particularly the fourth photograph, which shows the skyline of Rome and has the caption, "Departing Rome April 30."

All of the writing in this album is either in German or Italian. Translation and interpretation of these languages was performed using translation tools only.

Sold by Gerlach Books, January 2022.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kenneth Cleary
Finding Aid Date
October 4, 2022
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Photograph album.
Box 1 Folder 1

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