The photographs of Beijing below were taken in 1901 and 1902 shortly after the end of the Boxer Uprising 義和團運動. They come from an album in the possession of Svetlana Paichadze, assistant professor at Hokkaido University. Although we cannot identify the photographer, it is very likely that the photographs were taken by representatives of the Russian legation in Beijing or someone from the military sent to China in 1900 to suppress the Uprising.

Svetlana Paichadze grew up in Khabarovsk, a city in the Russian Far East, 30 kilometres away from the Chinese border. Her father, S. A. Paichadze studied the history of Russian books in China, Korea and Japan. Svetlana developed a strong interest in Japanese culture at a young age. At twelve years old she met historian Yu. V. Maretin when he came to Khabarovsk for a conference about the Amur Region and its famous Russian explorer, V. K. Arseniev. Maretin specialised in the history of Indonesia and China and was also the head of the Asian and African literature department of the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library and one of the most important bibliophiles in Leningrad (St Petersburg). Impressed with Svetlana’s strong interest in East Asia, Maretin presented her with the photo album of Beijing in 1902 with the words “from the present to the future researcher of East Asia.” Svetlana has always treated the album as a talisman which has accompanied her throughout her academic journeys as well as her move from Russia to Japan. Hidden for decades, the album received new attention when Shuge Wei, a historian of modern China at ANU, saw the great value in it during her visit to the Hokkaido University in 2016 and encouraged Svetlana to share the photographs with a wider community.

Coal Hill (local name for Jing Shan 景山)
The Forbidden City
Qian Qing Palace
The Summer Palace
A monument under construction in a Manchurian town in Beijing where a German diplomat (Clemens August Freiherr von Ketteler) was killed during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900
Civil Service examination booths in Beijing, 1902
The remains of the statues of Gods smashed in 1900
Russian legation in Beijing, 1902
The Summer Palace, 1902
Entrance of the Forbidden City in 1902
The Forbidden City
Inside the Forbidden City in 1902
A rickshaw station
Street vendors of persimmons and peanuts
Spraying water on the street
A cobbler
A bridge taken by Russians during the Boxer Rebellion
A bridge taken by Russians during the Boxer Rebellion
A bridge taken by Russians during the Boxer Rebellion
A bridge taken by Russians during the Boxer Rebellion
A beggar
A cobbler
A metal shop
A lottery and sweets stand
Tibetan monks
A gate to the Manchurian city
Inside the Yonghe Lamasery
Incense burner inside the Yonghe Lamasery
Hair-cutting in the open air
Hoof repair
The remains inside the old Summer Palace
Getting water from a well
A convict
A vendor
A gate taken by Russians during the Boxer Rebellion
A coach
Levelling the road
A food vendor
Man on donkey
A kid with a mule
Farming tools used by the Emperor during the annual worship of Heaven
Storage for musical instruments
The circular altar (Yuanqiu) in the Temple of Heaven
The garden inside the Russian legation
Eastern part of Beijing where there used to be a Russian church
A Russian church inside the Russian legation
Russian cemetery in Beijing
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Qiniandian) in the Temple of Heaven
Avenue in the Temple of Heaven
White Dagoba (百塔) from a distance
Shan Yin Dian next to the White Dagoba
Hair-cutting in the open air
A corner tower of Beijing city
Water carrier
The Marble Boat at the Summer Palace
The Summer Palace
A memorial arch
Chinese cavalry officers, 1902
A bird vendor
A restaurant outside a shoe shop
A funeral
Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva
Thousand-hand Bodhisattva
Other statues in the same temple
Imperial canal in Beijing
The venue of annual Imperial worship: after briefly tilling the field, the Emperor would return to the terrace to change clothes, and then step onto the platform to watch mandarins plough the field
The terrace where the Emperor prays and performs sacrifice after tilling the field
Street gambling
A railway station
Outside a tea shop
Playing cards
Outside of Zhengyang Gate, overlooking the Chinese city
The Zhengyang Gate in ruins after the Boxer Rebellion
The Marble Bridge across the Lotus Lake in winter
A gate in Beijing
A pavilion on Coal Hill (local name for Jing Shan 景山) in winter
A pavilion on Coal Hill in Summer
The Chinese part of Beijing
A beggar