- Title: Rare photographs reflect glimpse of Egypt's past
- Date: 29th May 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF STUDENT LOOKING AT ALBUM CONTAINING RARE PHOTOGRAPHS MUEHLHAEUSLER, SEIF AND STUDENT STANDING AROUND TAXIPHOTE AND PHOTOGRAPHS SLIDES ON TABLE SLIDE DEPICTING PHOTO OF 1919 REVOLUTION SLIDES ON TABLE SLIDES DEPICTING PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA AND GIZA ZOO SLIDE DEPICTING PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
- Embargoed: 12th June 2017 14:38
- Keywords: three dimensional taxiphote device American University in Cairo rare photgraphs Egypt
- Location: CAIRO, EGYPT
- City: CAIRO, EGYPT
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA0026IW387P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A collection of rare photographs at the American University in Cairo has given students a rare glimpse into the country's past.
After recently acquiring a taxiphote, a device once used to view photographs in three dimensions, the rare slides have opened a window into some historic moments in early 20th century Egypt.
Mark Muehlhaeusler, Director of the Centre for Middle East and Arab Cultures at AUC library, found the device at an antique shop in Cairo's leafy neighbourhood of Maadi.
The device which was in good condition came with its own slides, which depict various events during that period.
"Because photographs from that era that are private photographs are pretty rare. I mean, you do have a lot of photographs that were produced professionally, for postcards, for display purposes, but these sort of private life snapshots are not very common," he said.
Muehlhaeusler said the device, along with the slides, seemed to have belonged to a rich Egyptian family who took pictures of major events during that time, and also gave a snapshot into their private lives, including their vacations in the south of France.
"The collection that's here is very interesting because it shows again the private life, but also lots of public events that happened in Egypt at the time, say, the marriage of the daughter of the Khedive, the burial of the ruler, the flower festival, the first air show in Cairo. Those kind of events that you don't find documented elsewhere but it's really interesting because of that."
The slides were added to a rich collection of historic works at the rare books department in AUC which is curated by Professor Ola Seif.
Seif said the whole collection of slides, negatives and printed photographs have been compiled from numerous donations over the past few decades.
"We've had these photographs for around 20 or 30 years now, ever since I was student at the university, but it was neglected and the numbers weren't as great as they are now. The students also did not pay much attention to it nor did the professors, but over the years the collection continued to increase and around 10 years ago we decided to pay more attention to it and started documenting what we could document. We got funding to be able to categorise the photographs into albums, so as it can be made available for students, professors, and outside researchers," she said.
Students are encouraged to use the collection for research and history projects, and researchers outside of the university also resort to the library for its wealth of material.
The library is considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East, housing around 500,000 photographs, according to Seif.
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