Thursday, July 21, 2011

Historical collection of Sikkim photographs

Alice S. Kandell
Sikkim is high in the Himalaya Mountains of India, bordered by Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The setting is remarkable, with steep slopes, thatched cottages, Buddhist temples, cobbled paths and terraced fields. During many visits from 1965 to 1971, Alice S. Kandell photographed vivid scenes from daily life, documenting the culture of the tiny kingdom before it vanished.

Three hundred of these extraordinary photographs, showing both people and landscapes, are now online at the Library of Congress at  Photographer Kandell has dedicated the rights to the public to encourage worldwide access. Researchers who visit the Library can consult the entire collection of 15,000 color and black-and-white images, which Kandell donated to the Library in 2010.
Prince Palden Namgyal of Sikkim, who lives in New York, said “Dr. Kandell’s collection of photographs represents a rare and valuable snapshot of an era that many young Sikkimese have very little knowledge of today. The pictures are not only beautiful but represent an important historical record of our family. More importantly, they capture the culture, tradition and daily life of a far simpler and more innocent time. We are very grateful to the Library of Congress for preserving Dr. Kandell’s collection and making it accessible to all.”

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