Finding Aid for Views of Algeria, circa 1860

Finding aid prepared by Beth Guynn

Descriptive Summary

Title: Views of Algeria
Date (inclusive): circa 1860
Number: 93.R.122
Physical Description: 8.0 photographic prints
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: Collection of views showing native and colonial structures and habitation in provincial Algeria.
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Language: Collection material is in French

Biographical/Historical Note

Alary & Geiser was a photographic firm of long standing in Algiers. The business was possibly begun by Lucien-Jacob Geiser (1810-1852), an ébeniste by trade, who immigrated to Algeria from Switzerland with his wife Julie and three sons in 1850. Jean-Baptiste Antoine Alary (1810-c. 1867), an early daguerreotypist, probably became involved with the business after the death of Geiser père. Eventually the youngest Geiser son, Jean-Théophile (1848-1923) became involved with the business, running it into the 1920s.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Views of Algeria, circa 1860, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 93.R.122

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1993.

Processing History

Processed and cataloged by Beth Guynn; finding aid encoded by Holly Larson with grant funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection of mounted and captioned black and white albumen photographs features exterior views of French colonial Algeria. Two views show the oasis town of Laghouat, featuring mud brick walls, houses, mosques in the town and palm trees in the oasis; one image depicts a group of Arabs meeting at the oasis. A view of an Arab camp near Boughari shows tents beneath a huge rock formation. The effects of colonialism on the landscape and on cities is visible in several images: one shows a French house along a stream in the Gorge de la Chiffa, a popular tourist destination; a panoramic view of Tlemcen depicts the countryside and the city, including both French buildings and the minaret of the Great Mosque; another panoramic view illustrates the small colonial settlement scattered around the hills at Miliana.
Five mounts have the blindstamp: Alary & Geiser, Alger. The collection includes one print captioned "Tlemcen" and "Bois de Boulogne" in different hands; the photographer and actual site are unknown. The captions are transcribed from the original mounts.


No discernible original order; arranged by cataloger.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Topics

Architecture, Colonial--Algeria
Vernacular architecture--Algeria

Subjects - Places

Algeria--Description and travel

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographic prints
Photographs, Original--19th century


Alary & Geiser

Container List

Box 1

93.R.122-1 Tlemcen

Box 1

93.R.122-2 Milianah

Box 1

93.R.122-3 Laghouat, 4/8

Scope and Content Note

In negative: N.9
Box 1

93.R.122-4 Boyori, Bogar, Rocher des Empleaz

Scope and Content Note

In negative: A56. N.100
Box 1

93.R.122-5 Oasis de Laghouat/Algérie, Oasis de Laghouat, Palmeraie

Scope and Content Note

In negative: N. 80
No blindstamp.
Box 1

93.R.122-6 Gorge de la Chiffa, Le ruisseau des Singes

Box 1

93.R.122-7 Laghouat, vers le Saharh

Scope and Content Note

In negative: N.A.
No blindstamp.
Box 1

93.R.122-8 Tlemcen, Bois de Boulogne