Liberas preserves a remarkable album with amateur photography from the late 19th century. The album belonged to the family Cordy-Vernieuwe from Ghent, although little or nothing more is known about its origins. The photographer, a skilled amateur, remains unknown. Captions place the album in 1897-1898.
Rather than a family memory with portraits, the album comprises city views and landscapes with an obvious documentary value. Browsing though the eighty or so photographs guarantees a fascinating, often highly nostalgic, experience. The images seem from times long past, yet are on the other hand instantly recognisable.
The photographer shows us images of Ghent from an era when cars were still a futuristic dream, but also took his camera on day trips to Zeeland. The latter are particularly interesting, as they offer views from towns like Terneuzen, Vlissingen (aka Flushing), Middelburg and Zierikzee, and shed some light on the tourism of the day.
All photos of the album were digitised and can be searched in the Liberas image library. Here is a selection.