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Geoffrey Allan Edwards collection

Identifier: ubl652

Scope and Contents

The Edwards collection holds photographs of important photographers that worked in the Netherlands Indies. Photographers, such as Isidore van Kinsbergen (1821-1905), Kassian Céphas (1845-1912) and C.B. Nieuwenhuis (1863-1922), and the photo studios of Lambert & Co. and Woodbury & Page produced landscapes, town views and so-called type photography of Java and Sumatra. Thilly Weissenborn (1883-1964) is well-known for her impressive landscape photography. The collection also contains snapshots from her private life. These private photos form a supplement to the photographs in the KITLV collection.

Apart from photographs of the Indies archipelago, the collection also keeps nineteenth-century photographs produced in mainland Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Burma, Penang and Malaka. These were produced by pioneer photographers such as Ernst August Kaulfuss (1861-1908), August Sachtler and Thomas Heritage. The booklet with 69 watercolors of animals, types and landscapes by naturalist and ethnographer Carl Benjamin Hermann baron von Rosenberg (1817-1888) complements his drawings in the KITLV collection.

The geographical focus in the Edwards collection is on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. The biggest part of the collection was produced in the nineteenth-century, therefore most photos are albumen prints. The collection contains one ambrotype, a unique photograph that cannot be reproduced through a negative. Early examples of single photographic prints, like the ambrotype have rarely been preserved.

The collection contains around 100+ Woodbury glass positives with images from the Dutch Indies created circa 1865 and an original projector (Woodbury Sciopticon). All the glass positives have been marked with the name 'Woodbury Lantern Slide'.


  • Creation: 1850-1939

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

G.A. Edwards (1947), private collector, has acquired photos for decades through auctions and dealers, among others.


56 photo albums, 584 photographs, a booklet with 69 watercolors, 129 lantern slides and a magic lantern

Language of Materials


Abstract in Dutch

De particuliere verzamelaar G.A. Edwards (1947) heeft gedurende tientallen jaren foto’s uit Zuidoost-Azië verworven via onder andere veilingen en handelaren. Een deel van zijn verzameling is door de Universitaire Bibliotheken Leiden verworven en bevat foto’s uit Zuidoost-Azië.

Abstract in English

G.A. Edwards (1947), private collector, has acquired photos for decades through auctions and dealers, among others. Part of his collection was acquired by Leiden University Libraries and contains photographs from Southeast Asia.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

For an inventory use this link.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The photos from Southeast Asia and the magic lantern were acquired by Leiden University Libraries in 2017 and 2016.


No future additions are to be expected.

Related Materials

See the subject guide: South and Southeast Asian Photography


  • Faber, P., A. Groeneveld & M. Gibbs (eds.) Toekang Potret: 100 jaar fotografie in Nederlands Indië 1839-1939 = 100 years of photography in the Dutch East Indies. Amsterdam/Rotterdam 1989.
  • Falconer, J. A vision of the past: a history of early photography in Singapore and Malaya: the photographs of G.R. Lambert & Co., 1880-1910. Singapore 1987.
  • Newton, G. Garden of the East: photography in Indonesia 1850s-1940s. Canberra 2014.
  • Reed, J.L., J. Bloom Toward independence: a century of Indonesia photographed. San Francisco 1991.
  • Theuns-de Boer, G., S. Asser, S. Wachlin & L. George Isidore van Kinsbergen (1821-1905): fotopionier en theatermaker in Nederlands-Indië = pioneer and theatre maker in the Dutch East Indies. Zaltbommel/Leiden/Amsterdam 2005.
  • Wachlin, S. Woodbury & Page: photographers Java. Leiden 1994.


Collection items can be requested in the catalogue (Special Collections, Request uncatalogued materials); they can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The collection is kept under the following shelfmarks: Or. 27.350 – Or. 27.426.

Collection guide of the Geoffrey Allan Edwards collection (1850-1939)
Collectie Geoffrey Allan Edwards
Liesbeth Ouwehand, 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 13 September 2018: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857