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Early 20th century tourism and commercial photography in Egypt and the Holy Land

Nicholson, Paul ORCID: 2022. Early 20th century tourism and commercial photography in Egypt and the Holy Land. Journal of Tourism History 14 (3) , pp. 263-290. 10.1080/1755182X.2022.2144483
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Tourism, photography and ancient monuments are intimately linked and have a history stretching back to the beginnings of photography and to early mass-tourism. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries many tourists either did not own cameras or preferred to rely on professionally produced photographs. Foreign travel for many was the experience of a lifetime and for those visiting Egypt and the Holy Land the desire to have images of places familiar only from the words of the Bible provided a ready market for commercial photographers. This paper takes a rare surviving collection of images from Egypt and the Holy Land, reconstructs the itinerary which the tourist probably took and examines how the images might have been acquired. In this instance the images are in the form of lantern slides and would probably have been used by the tourist, likely to have been a clergyman, for lecture purposes. To have a complete collection survive is rare and the images offer a window into a now vanished relationship between the tourist interested in the ancient monuments and the commercial photographer whose role it was to provide atmospheric, often iconic, views of the monuments and the countries visited for the tourist. Part of that role may have been to create scenes of a particular type to correspond to what has become known as the ‘tourist gaze’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DB Austria
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1755-182X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 1 November 2022
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2023 12:58

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