Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Historical photo of a province hall

I found the photo below in the book "History of Lanna" by Saratsawadi Ongsakun, a great resource on the history of northern Thailand.

The photo shows a province hall sometime around 1900, when the provinces were still named Mueang instead of Changwat. The sign over the entrance reads ที่ว่าการเมือง (Thiwagan Mueang), a name now only used for the district offices which are called Thiwagan Amphoe. The provincial administration building today is named Sala Klang instead. Sadly neither that sign nor the caption of the photo give any further details on which provincial administration is pictured, even the timing of the photo is very unclear as it only says it was taken between 1897 and 1917. The photo is from the National Archive, but there seems to be no easy way to browse that archive like it has for the Royal Gazette.

The office looks quite different from those of today, like those few I have published the photographs already. Some additional ones can be found at Wikimedia Commons. As such administrative buildings aren't usually photographed by tourists, and it will take me many years to visit all provinces, or even all districts, I can only invite everyone to take such photos and make them public under a free license, to have more illustration on the Wikipedia articles. Also any pointer to historical photos like the one above would be welcome, especially if the copyright for that photo has expired already and it would be possible to use it as well.

No comments: