The collection of photographs contains views of archaeological sites, ruins, temples, stupas, and landscapes, as well as portraits
of local and European residents in Southeast Asia.
The photographs in this collection were taken in Southeast Asia by various photographers, known and unknown, between 1870
and 1910. Four of the photographs are attributed to or blindstamped by Woodbury and Page. The young Englishmen Walter B. Woodbury
and James Page met while seeking their fortunes in the Australian goldrush of the 1850s. In 1857 they traveled to Java and
opened the Woodbury and Page portrait studio in Weltevreden, Batavia (now Jakarta). Although Page returned to England in 1860,
and Woodbury returned in 1864, the firm Woodbury and Page existed in Java until 1901, run first by Woodbury's younger brothers
(Henry James and Albert), and later by Adolf Groth. Woodbury's successful career in photography continued after his return
to England. He is best known for inventing the Woodburytype process (photo-relief printing). Three photographs are attributed
to Kassian Cephas, the first native Javanese professional photographer. He had a studio in Yogyakarta and was appointed painter
and photographer to the court in 1871. He was a member of the Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology (Leiden) and
the Archaeological Union of Yogyakarta, which commissioned his photographic campaigns at Prambanam and Borobudur.