Endangered Archives


EAP001: Faces and Places in Iran. Iranian photography at the turn of the 19th century

Iran has a long tradition of photography dating from the 19th century Qajar period. Invaluable visual material was created and throws much light on the pre-modern period in Iran. The rapid modernisation of Iran in the last ten years, the spread of digital technologies at the level of the population, the increasing internal migration from small to big urban centres, the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, not to forget natural disasters are among the many factors that endanger both private collections and public archives of photography.

This pilot project will investigate the potential and the feasibility of a long-term project aimed at safeguarding photographic materials from pre-modern Iran by:

  1. locating photographic material from the 19th and early 20th century in Iran which is archived in precarious conditions or in personal family collections and, where possible, to copy and/or transfer them to safer places;
  2. identifying Iranian museums or institutions that may be interested in archiving and making available to the public this kind of material. In parallel, this pilot investigation will seek to approximate the duration and cost of a project to relocate and/or copy the material.


EAP001/1: Parisa Damandan Collection of Iranian Photographs [1880s-1970s]

"This fonds consists of digital copies of photographs held by Parisa Damandan, created as part of the project EAP001 Faces and Places in Iran: Iranian Photography at the Turn of the 20th Century. The collection features material from a range of photographers, including Minas Patkerhanian Machertich, Amonallah Taighi, Thooni Johannes, Mirza Hasan Khan Shams, Mirza Mehdi Chereh-Nama, Ernst Hoeltzer, and other unidentified sources. The collection mainly consist of portrait photographs and group photographs, and includes photographs of Armenian immigrants which would have been attached to immigration documentation.The photographs were taken from 1880-1970s, in Esfahan and in the New Jolfa area of Esfahan; the original prints were created from gelatin and glass plate negatives."

EAP001/1/1: Photographs from Esfahan taken by Minas Patkerhanian Machertich [1900-1970s]

Extent: 14 images
Level: File
Scope and Content: "This file consists of digital copies of 18 photographs taken by Minas Patkerhanian Machertich in Esfahan, Iran, from 1900-1970s. The material mainly consists of black and white portrait photographs (individual and group), including three photographs of Armenian families, most likely taken to be attached to travel documentation. Some of the photographs in this file may be disturbing or offensive to some users, as they feature images of death.The original prints were created from glass plate and gelatin negatives; these digital copies are based on prints held by Parisa Damandan, measuring 60mm x 90mm, 90mm x 120mm, 130mm x 80mm and 180mm x 240mm."
Creator "Hoeltzer, Ernst Carl Leopold", 1835-1911
Creator "Johannes, Thooni", 1864-1946
Creator "Machertich, Minas Patkerhanian", 1885-1972
Creator "Taighi, Amonallah", fl 20th century
Creator "Shams, Mirza Hasan Khan", fl 20th century
Creator "Chehreh-Nama, Mirza Mehdi", fl 20th century
Owner "Damandan, Parisa", b 1967
Language(s) "Not applicable"
Script(s) "Not Applicable"
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