Justine Sambrook (Assistant Curator, RIBA Library Photographs Collection) reveals one of the latest additions to the Photographs Collection:

Abu Simbel, Nubia, Southern Egypt 1849 - 1851.

Abu Simbel, Nubia, Southern Egypt 1849 - 1851.

 Photographer: Maxime du Camp
Copyright: RIBA Library Photographs Collection

The Photographs Collection’s newest accession is also its oldest. This recently acquired print showing the ancient pharonic statues at Abu Simbel was taken at the very dawn of photography in the mid-19th century and is one of the earliest examples held by the RIBA.

Maxime du Camp was a Parisian journalist who, frustrated that much precious time abroad was wasted in attempting to sketch the sights, implored the renowned photographer Gustave le Gray to instruct him in the new craft before he travelled to Egypt with Gustave Flaubert in 1849. Here, the pair spent months documenting their discoveries in words and pictures and Flaubert was inspired to pen Salammbô, his epic Carthaginian novel.

Find out about other new acquisitions by the RIBA British Architectural Library.

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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