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Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921

John Thomson Photograph Collection, 1863

1 oversize box (1.5 linear ft.)

PH 2

Caledonian sugar mill

Caledonian sugar mill

The Scotsman John Thomson is considered one of the fathers of social documentary photography and a pioneer in the photography of southeast Asia. Between 1861 and 1872, he traveled extensively in Asia, documenting the scenery and people of modern day Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, and China.

The collection includes eight albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives taken early in Thomson's photographic career. The images of Penang, Malaysia, are all signed by John Thomson, with five dated November 1863. Subjects include Malay people, a native infantry regiment, sugar mill, temple, and Thomson's widely reproduced image of tree ferns.

Language

English.

Location

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Information on Use

Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research.