Friday, September 06, 2019

The Archives of the Planet

At the beginning of the 20th Century Frenchman Albert Kahn decided to send a group of photographers around the world. He wanted the photographers to capture a record of a way of life that Khan thought was about to disappear. Between 1909 and 1931 Khan's photographers collected 72,000 color photographs and 183,000 meters of film. This imagery provides an amazing historical record of the world at the beginning of the 20th Century. His collection is known as The Archives of the Planet.

The website of the Albert Khan Museum has created an interactive map which allows you to explore this incredible archive of 20th Century life by location. The Collections of the Albert Khan Museum uses a Leaflet map to show where photographs in the collection were taken and which allow you to browse the photos by geographical location. The map includes a number of filters which also permit you to search the historical pictures of the world by different themes and categories. These include themes such as people, religion, nature and transport. You can also filter the photographs on the map by the name of the individual photographers.

If you are a fan of vintage photography then you might also appreciate these other interactive maps of historical photographs:

Historypin - a huge collection of mapped vintage photos from around the world
OldSF - vintage photos of San Francisco (has Google Maps licencing issues but photos still work)
OldNYC - old photographs of New York
Old Toronto - historic photos of Toronto from the City of Toronto Archives
Wymer's DC - view images of D.C. from the John P. Wymer Photograph Collection
The Yangon Time Machine - a map of vintage photographs of Yangon, Myanmar
Smapshot - historical images of Switzerland
OldAms - thousands of vintage photographs of Amsterdam
Tids Maskinen - explore photos of Norway by location & date
Helsinki Ennen - historical maps and photographs of the Finnish capital
Our Town Stories - Edinburgh - vintage photos & maps of the Scottish capital
Vintage Greece - geo-located vintage photographs and historical maps of Greece
Ajapaik - vintage photos of Estonia

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