Then and Now: Historical Photographs of Cambodia

Then and Now: Historical Photographs of Cambodia is a project linking the history of Cambodia from the past to the present through photographs and descriptions. It is a collaborative project between Arizona State University Libraries and Northern Illinois University Libraries aimed at digitizing old photographs taken by Mimi Palgen Maisonneuve in the 1950s and 1960s and photographing the same locations to show contemporary Cambodian life in the year 2007.

The Palgen Photo Collection from the 1950s and 1960s offers a unique look at life in Cambodia from royal ceremonies to the rural life of commoners. This time period is significant because the images record life in Cambodia just prior to the beginning of hostilities that would lead to the Khmer Rouge period and the devastation of the entire Cambodian society. The contemporary photograph collection, taken in June and July 2007, contains pictures of village and rural scenes, everyday images of the urban lives of people in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces, and historical monuments in Siem Reap province. The connection between these old and new photographs illustrates changes in village and urban life in Cambodia over these past few decades. Cambodia scholar and NIU Anthropologist, Judy Ledgerwood, along with Political Scientist, Kheang Un, coordinate this project for NIU with a graduate student in Anthropology at NIU, Pisith Phlong, as a research assistant. ASU Libraries' Southeast Asia Bibliographer Christopher Miller coordinates work from ASU with Pamela Nguyen Corey as a research assistant.

Children reaching for guava fruits, house in village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wppd, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Cow grazing in front of village mechanic, village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Thatch houses in rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Cow grazing in the back of a house in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Ox-cart and cow in the back of a house in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Cow resting in the back of a house in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Cow, ox-cart, and sugar palm trees near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Houses on stilts in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
House on stilts in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
This village belongs to another major type of village community in Cambodia, that of the traditional subsistence rice farmers. These communities are scattered through the lower and upper plains, and consist of farming groups who cultivate rain-fed or irrigated rice paddies. They tend to live in small family groups or villages. In general, each family also cultivates a field where rice, cucumbers, occasionally corn, and other vegetables are grown. Usually a number of different traditional varieties of rice are grown, each one adapted to different soil types and water conditions. The farmers use animal fertilizers and traditional farming techniques, such as the swing plow pulled by oxen or buffalo. Houses used to be made of bamboo and straw thatch, and are typically raised on stilts to reduce dampness and increase ventilation, as well as to provide protection from wild animals and flooding. More prosperous families build houses of wood, concrete or other less perishable materials. Poorer families build houses of thatch directly on the ground., Location : Kampong Speu Province., Source : Choulean, Ang et al. Angkor: A Manual for the Past, Present and Future. Cambodia: UNESCO with United Nations Development Program and Swedish International Development Agency, 1998., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Pond with lotuses and water lilies near Wat Phnom Toch
Pond is socially important for village life. It is source of water supply during dry season for villager and temple's needs., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Pond with lotuses and water lilies near Wat Phnom Toch
Pond is socially important for village life. It is source of water supply during dry season for villager and temple's needs., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Pond with lotuses and water lilies near Wat Phnom Toch
Pond is socially important for village life. It is source of water supply during dry season for villager and temple's needs., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Pond with lotuses and water lilies near Wat Phnom Toch
Pond is socially important for village life. It is source of water supply during dry season for villager and temple's needs., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Pond with lotuses and water lilies near Wat Phnom Toch
Pond is socially important for village life. It is source of water supply during dry season for villager and temple's needs., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Rural business shop in a rural village near Wat Phnom Toch
Thatch and palm leaves are commonly used in rural villages of Cambodia. Business shop, cottage and house employ palm leaf roof which is available locally and that can last for a few years before a replacement is needed., Location : Kampong Speu Province., This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.