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.