Guide to the Afghan Wars Photographs, circa 1897
Collection of black and white glossy photographic prints of Afghanistan, taken by an anonymous photographer during the Anglo-Afghan War most likely during the Mamund Valley hostilities of 1897. Prints are mounted on cardstock, and collection includes the portfolio in which they were originally housed. Most have captions with location or subject, either typed or hand-written; a few are dated 1897. Images feature British Army military camps, landscapes, and groups of officers. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.
- Collection Number
- Afghan Wars photographs
- circa 1897
- Anonymous photographer
- 1.5 Linear Feet, 45 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Collection of glossy black and white photographic prints of Afghanistan, taken by an anonymous photographer during the Afghan Wars, most likely in summer and fall 1897 during which there was a major outbreak of hostilities. The images consist of 24 8.125" x 5.75" prints, and 21 smaller 4.125" x 5.75" prints, all affixed to cardstock, three or four per page, often on both sides of the board. There is also a panoramic shot of the Tungai Pass made up of three sequenced prints. Pasted-down typed captions are also present for some images, while others carry handwritten captions; a few are dated 1897. The set was originally housed in an unmarked cloth and board portfolio, which has also been conserved. Resembling to some degree in subject matter the Afghanistan images of military photographer R. B. Holmes, the majority of the images in this collection depict British military camps and landscapes. The landscape views include the Mamund Valley, Tangi Pass, Agrah, Chakdara, Malakand, and Ambeyla Pass, and a few captions describe events taking place in that location. Military camps, many taken at a distance with fine detail, include Buner, Inayat Killa, Kindergali, and Malakand. A few scenes show bridges, including a boat bridge over the Indus. Some prints feature groups of officers in posed and casual scenarios, including one image of the First Royal West Kent Regiment. One image shows the gravesite of 2nd Lieutenant W. C. Browne-Clayton, dated Sept. 30, 1897, killed at the battle of Agrah. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Afghan Wars Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
From the captions and a few dated images, it is likely that these photographs of the Afghan Wars were taken by a British photographer, and represent a period during summer and fall of 1897, when there was a major outbreak of hostilities between native Afghanis in the Mamund Valley against British and Indian army troops. The total loss of British men was about 200 out of a force of about 1200. The operation in the Mamund Valley ended in January 1897.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University)
- Great Britain. Army -- History -- 19th century
- India. Army -- History -- 19th century
- Afghanistan -- Social conditions -- 19th century
- Afghanistan -- Pictorial works
- Afghanistan -- Social conditions
The Afghan Wars Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2009.
Processed by Paula Jeannet, December 2009
Encoded by Paula Jeannet, December 2009
Accession 2009-0118 is described in this finding aid.