Endangered Archives


EAP264: Preservation through digitisation of rare photographic negatives from Mongolia

The Archives for Cinema, Photography and Sound Recording in Mongolia houses over 160,000 photo negatives, including 10,552 glass plate negatives. This project aims to digitise all these glass plate negatives, the majority of which contain images taken between 1921 and 1945 and have never been printed. The collection covers a wide range of topics such as the army and military, public health, animal husbandry, archaeological finds, nature, prominent Mongolian people, people who were politically repressed during the 1930s, historical documents, construction works, industrial development, Mongolia's contribution to the victory of WWII, culture, religion and politics.

The collection is housed in the Archives building, which has no adequate and controlled preservation environment and lacks humidity and air control. The glass plates are kept in paper envelopes on shelves where they are exposed to physical mishandling and deterioration in image quality. Only 3,000 have been catalogued. Since no digital images are available to researchers and the general public, these glass plates are in danger of being exposed to frequent printing which represents a threat to the physical condition of the originals themselves. Once degraded in quality or detroyed due to frequent printing and mishandling, this unique pre-industrialised history of Mongolia will be lost for ever.

As the originals will eventually be too fragile for frequent handling, the only way of preserving and providing access to users of this valuable collection is through digitisation. The remaining 7,000 glass plates will also be catalogued. Training schemes will be developed to preserve and further restore archival photographs and the introduction of this digital archive will inspire the Archives, the MSV Foundation and other individuals to carry out further projects to help preserve and digitise the remaining archival holdings.


EAP264/1: "Digital copies of glass plate negatives preserved in the Archives for Cinema, Photography and Sound Recording, Mongolia [1910s-1950s]"

"This collection consists of digital copies of the glass plate negative collections at the Archives for Cinema, Photography and Sound Recordings, Mongolia. The photographs date from the 1910s to the 1950s, and cover a range of subjects, including art and culture, former Mongolian leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan, festivities, foreign relations, industry, the military, nature, people, religion, science and education, transport, and the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. "

EAP264/1/8: People [1920s-1950s]

EAP264/1/8/6: Images of nomad herdsmen and their lifestyles [1930s-1950s]

Extent: 141 images
Level: File
Scope and Content: Images of nomad herdsmen and their lifestyles
Collector "Archives for Cinema, Photography and Sound Recordings, Mongolia", 20th century-
Language(s) Not applicable
Script(s) Not applicable
Legal & Ethical Usage Policy Access is for research purposes only