Many may not have heard of French millionaire philanthropist Albert Khan, but in 1909 he embarked on his ambitious Archives of the Planet project to to create a colour photographic record of the world and its peoples. He commissioned a group of intrepid photographers to document more than fifty countries around the world at the early turn of the 20th century, the result of which is a huge collection of 72,000 beautiful autochromes.

The collection boasts some of the earliest-known colour photographs in countries in Vietnam and Mongolia, amongst others. We recommend catching more of Albert Khan and his Archives of the Planet project in BBC’s inspiring book and documentary series ‘The Wonderful World Of Albert Khan’.

Here are a few Archives of the Planet autochromes of Asia.

Read and view more: The Wonderful World Of Albert Khan



7 Responses to Archives of the Planet – The Wonderful World Of Albert Khan

  1. Remarkable indeed, considering the time and age of these photographs.

  2. physical therapist says:

    What a great resource!

  3. Goh Eck Kheng says:

    A visual feast and a goldmine of historical data. There are of course countless other monochrome images of this period but colour gives more information and highlights the richness of the scenes. thanks so much for sharing this resource.

  4. Rob says:

    This images are great.

  5. Kevin WY Lee says:

    RT @InvisPhotogAsia: Albert Khan's Archives of the Planet – 1st ever color #photography of Mongolia, Vietnam. http://bit.ly/913vY2

  6. IPA says:

    Albert Khan's amazing Archives of the Planet – some of the earliest known color photographs of Mongolia, Vietnam &… http://fb.me/CqPIC019

  7. IPA says:

    Albert Khan's amazing Archives of the Planet – first color #photography of Mongolia, Vietnam, & others. http://bit.ly/913vY2

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