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Wortmarke FSU

The Alphons-Stübel-Collection of Early Photographs from the Orient (1857-1890)

Jerusalem, türkische Wächter am Eingang der Grabeskirche, um 1880


Prof.Dr. Norbert Nebes

Babett Forster

Lehrstuhl für Semitische Philologie und Islamwissenschaft
Löbdergraben 24a
07745 Jena
Tel. +49 (0) 3641 944850


The Collection contains more than 550 early photographs of the Middle East, mainly views from Egypt, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Hijaz and some from Constantinople, Greece and Italy.  The large scale album prints are mounted on cardboards with inscriptions by the collector, Alphons Stübel (1835-1904), on the backsides. He collected them on his far-reaching travels between the years 1856 and 1890 or at other opportunities.
Alphons Stübel  comes from an old family of lawyers rooted in the city of Dresden and can be named as an scholar with different areas of expertise and varied interests: after his studies in Leipzig, Berlin und Heidelberg he is doing researches and travels as a volcanologist, geographer and geologist. But he acts as an archaeologist as well. His expedition in South America during the years 1868-1877 together with Wilhelm Reiss is one of the spadework in the exploration of the continent.
The collected photographs are made by photo pioneers such as James Robertson, Felice Beato, by early entrepreneurs like Wilhelm Hammerschmidt, Felix Bonfils, and by later studios like those of Pascal Sébah, Zangaki or Lékégian. Furthermore one can find some rare or unknown names such as Robert Murray, D. Claus or Francesco Quarelli.
On the one hand the images serve as database to support the preservation of historic sites but on the other hand the collection is as an outstanding example of private collecting of photos in the nineteenth century and has been studied recently as such.

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