Écochard: Damascus Albums

Michel Écochard compiled a series of albums, some on particular projects or work themes, others more focused on particular places. This collection brings together two albums related to the city of Damascus in Syria.  Attached to the Service des antiquités in Syria in 1932, he managed a range of restoration projects of Islamic monuments in Damascus in the 1930s and 1940s. He was also involved in urban development efforts for the city.  Elsewhere in Archnet you can directly consult the plans he helped shape in 1936, and others developed under his direction in 1968.  These positions afforded him unique access to document Damascus through several decades.  Included in these albums is imagery of the city and its development through time, and particularly its water systems. 

The albums illustrate work he had undertaken in the city and more generally his interest in its history and archaeology. They are composed mostly of his own photography; supplemented by images from colleagues and state authorities, as well as copies of some postcards. They also testify to his interest in aerial photography, and the degree to which he believed it useful in urban planning. Photos were often, though not always captioned.  The albums also contained lists of sites depicted, but did not appear to contain a list of images.  

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