War and Remembrance: Afghanistan Album at the Wolfsonian-FIU Library

Today’s blog post comes to you courtesy of Sharf Associate Librarian, Rochelle Pienn. Ms. Pienn has been cataloging and preparing for digitization hundreds of original journals, scrapbooks, and photograph albums donated to The Wolfsonian–FIU rare book and special collections library by Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf. These materials provide an intimate look at some of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century conflicts that raged in parts of the world where conflict  continues to brew. Seen from the perspective of current events, these albums appear both timeless and relevant. Here is Rochelle’s report.

The Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed capture of a Taliban leader this morning.

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Afghan National Army (ANA) officers march during a training exercise at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Afghanistan in this October 7, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/Files TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTSE3V1

 Credit: http://www.afghanistannews.net

World news sources cover ongoing fighting in the Middle East, as U.S. Coalition forces and the Afghan Army attempt to defeat the constant barrage of anti-democratic insurgents. Almost one hundred years ago, Great Britain and Russia jostled for imperial power in the Northwest Frontier Province of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where local tribes already clashed over their regional differences. The Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection at the Wolfsonian-FIU Library, a treasure trove of rare and original archival materials, contains this one-of-a-kind photograph album documenting British activity in Balochistan during the Third Afghan War in 1919.

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The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Lieutenant J. D. Harding of the British Army’s Kent Regiment points himself out in this snapshot.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Images such as these of a burning fort and recovery efforts by the frontier forces indicate a familiar sight of destruction.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Much of the harsh environment remains unchanged for nearly a century, making foreign military success a challenge.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Troops set up camp at the foothills.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

The Pakistan Lancers marched with the camel caravan not far behind.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

A Jirga, or a group of Islamic tribal leaders meeting to officiate decision making, discuss the possibility of peace. Baloch people, Pashtuns and British look for an easement.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Pathan (Pashtun) prisoners were escorted away from contested territories by British troops.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Harding also captured scenes of daily life in the Northwest Frontier natives.

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 The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

The undeniable beauty of the local people made for striking group portraits.

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   The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

This stark scenery still symbolizes the forbidding landscape where desert and war do not seem to end.

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  The Wolfsonian-FIU, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Harding’s album is one of several original photograph albums documenting the Afghan wars that are featured in the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection. To explore this album further or to see more of our collection, please contact the Wolfsonian-FIU Library.

~ by "The Chief" on April 19, 2016.

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