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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Arrangment
  • Acquisition Information
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Processing History
  • Publication Rights
  • Digitized Material

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections
    Title: Al Djazair and Tunis album
    Creator: Al-Wahhāb, Abdu Rabbih
    Identifier/Call Number: 2001.R.20
    Identifier/Call Number: /repositories/3/resources/221
    Physical Description: 1 album(s) (107 photographs)
    Date: 1881
    Abstract: The album, compiled by a person identified as Abdu Rabbih al-Wahhāb, contains photographs of the Maghreb region of North Africa. The first half of the album features views of Algeria and Tunisia, while the second half is devoted to portraits of North Africans. These are primarily studio portraits of women from various ethnic groups, although some male occupational portraits, as well as portraits of dignitaries such as the Agha and Califa of Ouargla are included.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy  .
    Language of Material: Collection material is in Arabic and Judeo-Arabic.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    The title page lists a person known as Abdu Rabbih al-Wahhāb as the "author" of the album. This may be a pseudonym or fictitious name.

    Arrangment

    Arranged in a single series: Series I. Al Djazair and Tunis Album.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 2001.

    Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Preferred Citation

    Al Djazair and Tunis album, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2001.R.20.
    http://hdl.handle.net/10020/cifa2001r20

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The album contains 107 albumen photographs of the Maghreb region of North Africa. The first half of the album features views of Algeria and Tunisia taken in and around Tlemcen, Algiers, Biskra, Blida, Béjaïa, El Kantara, Carthage, Lambessa, and Ouargle. There are images of mosques, tombs, and palaces, as well as local neighborhoods and streets. Natural sites, such as gorges, oases, and desert areas are also depicted, as are views of Roman ruins. The second half is devoted to portraits of North African peoples. These are primarily studio portraits of women from various ethnic groups, although some male occupational portraits, as well as portraits of dignitaries such as the Agha and Califa of Ouargla are included. Many of the sitters are identified by name. A few scenes of daily life showing coffee houses, shops, markets, and street life are interspersed among the portraits.
    The album was seemilngly compiled from a North African perspective, as only a few images containing portions of French buildings allude to a western presence. This fact, along with the album's elaborate box and covers, suggests that it may have been compiled for a high ranking official or wealthy North African.
    The photographs are unsigned and the photographer(s) have not been identified.
    The covers of the album are made of carved wood and tooled and painted leather set into brass backings and closed with brass hinges; decorations are in a North African artisanal style comprising calligraphic and geometric elements. On the front cover a tugra (i.e. in the style of an Ottoman ruler's signature) written in a combination of colloquial and classical Arabic reads: Algiers / Tunis. Do not look at the beauty of appearances, look at your deeds. Appearance is not as important as the inner self.
    The first sura of the Qur'an is inscribed in the center of the brass inner cover: I start with the name of God; and in the border: In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
    The title page reads: Author: Abdu Rabbih al-Wahhāb - Fernand tunisi baldati min Kusa [?] (called Gabriel the Christian, in the year 1881). The date of compilation is significant in that 1881 marked the end of over three centuries of Ottoman rule in the Maghreb.
    The album is housed in a carved wooden box. Carved on the box cover, also as a tugra, are the names of two brothers, Kheireddine and Arrouj (Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis), infamous sixteenth-century corsairs.
    The titles of the individual photographs are from the captions written on the mounts. Most captions are in Arabic; some mounts bear Judeo-Arabic captions as noted; a few images are uncaptioned and titles for these were devised by the archivist. The Arabic captions were translated by Karim Boughida and David Brafman. The Judeo-Arabaic captions were translated by Jona Sabir.

    Processing History

    Processed and cataloged by Beth Ann Guynn in 2001. Finding aid encoded by Linda Kleiger and Guynn. The finding aid was updated by Guynn in 2021.

    Publication Rights

    Digitized Material

    The collection was digitized in 2015 and the images are available online:
    http://hdl.handle.net/10020/2001r20

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Clothing and dress -- Algeria
    Clothing and dress -- Tunisia
    Architecture, Islamic -- Algeria
    Architecture, Islamic -- Tunisia
    Women -- Tunisia
    Women -- Algeria
    Streets -- Algeria
    Tombs -- Algeria
    Occupations -- Algeria -- History -- 19th century
    Occupations -- Tunisia -- History -- 19th century
    Indigeneous peoples -- Tunisia -- Portraits
    Mosques -- Algeria
    Gorges -- Algeria
    Indigenous peoples -- Algeria -- Portraits
    Tunisia -- Antiquities -- Roman
    Tunisia -- Description and travel
    Tunisia -- Social life and customs
    France -- Colonies -- Africa
    Algeria -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
    Algeria -- Antiquities, Roman
    Photographs, Original
    Algeria -- Description and travel
    Albumen prints -- Algeria -- 19th century
    Studio portraits -- Tunisia -- 19th century
    Studio portraits -- Algeria -- 19th century
    Albumen prints -- Tunisia -- 19th century