Serbia’s Great War in photographs : the May 2017 Slavonic item of the month

The Kingdom of Serbia’s involvement in the First World War saw a proportional loss of life which far outstripped that of the other Allies.  Ratni album (War album), published in Belgrade in 1926, commemorates the war with both reverence and realism.  From photographic portraits of victorious generals to pictures of the combatant and civilian dead, this extraordinary volume captures it all.

The front cover, with a standard ruler along the left to provide scale.  Close-ups of some details of the cover are provided at the end of this post.

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Photography in the GDR

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Geschlossene Gesellschaft (S950.b.201.2929)

One of the probably less known areas which we collect is photography in the GDR. Cambridge University Library thus has a substantial collection on the topic. One publisher is particularly active in that field, called Lehmstedt Verlag, and we have a substantial number of their publications on the topic. However, there is of course a variety of publishers from which we acquire such material. Our collections include various academic books about the topic that can be borrowed, although a lot of the material we acquire is heavily illustrated and/or an exhibition catalogue and therefore cannot be taken out of the building. A few of those books recently caught my attention as they crossed my desk:

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Photography in the Portuguese colonies (1860-1960)

Cambridge University Library has recently acquired a copy of O império da visão: fotografia no contexto colonial português (1860-1960), a volume organised by Dr. Filipa Lowndes Vicente, researcher at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) of the University of Lisbon.

Dr. Vicente’s interest in photography started while researching Portuguese and British colonial India. Since its development in the second half of the nineteenth century, photography became a major form of visual communication and a powerful agent of social change. Recent research has shown that the study of colonialism requires photography to illustrate written sources. In the nineteenth century, photography helped increase the visibility of the colonies abroad. Continue reading