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Orient Collection

History Archive - Orient Collection

The Orient is a historical term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world, in relation to Europe. It is the antonym of Occident, the Western World. In English, it is largely a metonym for, and coterminous with, the continent of Asia, loosely classified into the Near East, Middle East and Far East: the geographical and ethno-cultural regions now known as West Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Originally, the term Orient was used to designate the Near East, and later its meaning evolved and expanded, designating also the Middle East or the Far East.

Territorialization of the Roman term Orient occurred during the reign of emperor Diocletian (284-305), when the Diocese of the Orient (Latin: Dioecesis Orientis) was formed. Later in the 4th century, the Praetorian prefecture of the Orient (Latin: Praefectura Praetorio Orientis) was also formed, including most of the Eastern Roman Empire, from the Thrace eastwards; its easternmost part was the original Diocese of the Orient, corresponding roughly to the region of Syria.

Over time, the common understanding of "the Orient" has continually shifted eastwards, as European people traveled farther into Asia. It finally reached the Pacific Ocean, in what Westerners came to call "the Far East". These shifts in time and identification sometimes confuse the scope (historical and geographic) of Oriental Studies. Yet there remain contexts where "the Orient" and "Oriental" have kept their older meanings (e.g., "Oriental spices" typically are from the regions extending from the Middle East to sub-continental India to Indo-China). Travelers may again take the Orient Express train from Paris to its terminus in the European part of Istanbul, a route established in the early 20th century.

In European historiography, the meaning of "the Orient" changed in scope several times. Originally, the term referred to Egypt, the Levant, and adjoining areas.[5] as far west as Morocco. During the 1800s, India, and to a lesser extent China, began to displace the Levant as the primary subject of Orientalist research. By the mid-20th century, Western scholars generally considered "the Orient" as just East Asia, Southeast Asia, and eastern Central Asia. As recently as the early 20th century, the term "Orient" often continued to be used in ways that included North Africa. Today, the term primarily evokes images of China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Mongolia, and peninsular Southeast Asia. "The Orient" being largely a cultural term, large parts of Asia—Siberia most notably—were excluded from the scholarly notion of "the Orient".

Since the 19th century, "orientalist" has been the traditional term for a scholar of Oriental studies; however, the use in English of "Orientalism" to describe academic "Oriental studies" is rare: the Oxford English Dictionary cites only one such usage, by Lord Byron in 1812. Orientalism is more widely used to refer to the works of the many 19th-century artists who specialized in "Oriental" subjects, often drawing on their travels to North Africa and Western Asia. Artists as well as scholars were already described as "Orientalists" in the 19th century. In 1978, Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said published his influential and controversial book, Orientalism; he used the term to describe a pervasive Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of prejudiced outsider interpretations of the Arab and Muslim worlds, shaped by the attitudes of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries

Available Books


Image Name
Title Page
Book Display
The Harbour of Port Cornwallis, Island of Great Andaman, with the Fleet getting under Weigh for Rangoon
Bihishtee, or Water Carrier
A Ryot, or Ploughman
Monuments Khmers - Ruines du Mont Bakheng
A Burmese Man
The Storming of Canton
Rochers a l'Embouchure du Nam Hou
The Attack upon the Stockades near Rangoon by Sir Archibald Campbell, K.C.B. on the 28th May 1824
The Landing at Colombo
Back Cover
Intérieur de la Grotte du Nam Hou
Front Cover
Dace or Ayah - A Nurse
Fetes de Bassac : Illumination du Fleuve
Panorama Pris Entre Mekong Kou et Houey-Ly Tcheaou
The Combined Forces under Brig. Cotton, C.B. and Captains Alexander, C.B. & Chads, R.N. passing the Fortress of Donabue to effect a junction with Sir Archibald Campbell, on the 27th March 1825
La Ville de Ta Kouan
The Storming of the Fort of Syriam by a combined force of Sailors, and European & Native Troops, on the 5th August 1824
Back Cover
A village and Cottages
Book Display
Barburdar, or Fan-bearer
A Nakhan
A view of Fusy - Yama (from a Japanese drawing)
Carte Itineraire No. 10
Coin Quest de la Chute de Don Isom
A lady at her toilet (from a Japanese drawing)
Front Cover
Back Cover
Musician, with a Khole or Drum
Panorama de la Vallee du Fleuve Pris du Sommet de Phou Salao
Title Page
Front Cover
Monuments Khmers - Angcor Wat Details [II]
Rangoon. The Storming of one of the principal Stockades on its inside on the 8th of July 1824
A Theweda or Angel
A Surcar, or Agent
Reception Tent of the Imperial Commissioners, Takoo
[H.M.S. Larne H.C. Compys] Mercury, Heroine, Carron & Lotus; Transports attacking the Stockades at the entrance of Bassein River on the 26th February 1825
View of the Great Dagon Pagoda and adjacent Scenery taken on the Eastern Road from Rangoon
Le Fleuve du Tong-King et la Ville de Yuen-Kiang
A Brahmin
Monuments Khmers - Angcor Wat - Elevation de la Facade Quest
Title Page
Title Page
Back Cover
A Native Lady in her Palkee
Musician, with a pair of Drums
Back Cover
Title Page
Fuqeer, or Begging Friar
Book Display
Populations Mixtes du Nord du Yun-Nan
Carte Itineraire No. 8
Carte Itineraire No. 7
A Trooper
Vue Prise Entre Tchao-Tong et la Kouan
Ruines du Baion (Monument aux 42 Tours)
View of the landing at Rangoon of part of the Combined Forces from Bengal and Madras, under the Orders of Sir Archibald Campbell, K.C.B. on the 11th May 1824
A Burmese Woman
A Nantch Girl, or Singing Girl [II]
Scene upon the Terrace of the Great Dagon Pagoda at Rangoon taken near the Great Bell
"Temple of Supreme Felicity". Residence of the Allied Missions at Tientsin
The Delhi Gate
Tea Gardens near Yedo (Interior)
Dood-h-wala, or Milkman
A Mussulman
Scene from the Upper Terrace of the Great Pagoda at Rangoon, to the South East
The White Elephant
The Storming of the Lesser Stockade at Kemmendine near Rangoon on the 10th of June 1824
Ch-hata-wala, or Umbrella carrier
Laos - Plan d'une Pirogue
Map of the Yang-Tse-Kiang or Ta-Kiang
The Jahaz Mahal
Suntoo-burdar, or Running Footman
Qwanon Temple
Carte Itineraire No. 4
Carte Itineraire No. 9
Carte Itineraire No. 3
Marche de Muong Long
Portique de la Pagode de Se-Mao
Lac et Ville de Che-Pin
Tea Gardens near Yedo (Exterior)
Fuqeer, or Beggar
Populations Mixtes des Royaumes de Xieng Tong et de Xieng Hong
Interview between the Earl of Elgin & the Prime Ministers of Japan
Monuments Khmers - Angcor Wat Details
Bangy-Wala, Porter
The Woosung River
Fete dans une Pagode de Nong Kay
Title Page
Facade Principale d'Angor Wat - Vue du Peristyl de la Premiere Enceinte
Plan a Vol d'Oiseau des Cataractes de Khon


Map Name
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 4 (1873)
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission Vol. 2 - Map of the Yang-Tse-Kiang or Ta-Kiang (1859)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 6 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Generale de l'Indo-Chine (1873)
Temples and Elephants - Route from Bangkok to Kiang-Tsen (1884)
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission Vol. 1 - Map of China (1859)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 9 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 5 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 10 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 1 - Carte des Rapides de Khong (1873)
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission Vol. 2 - Map of the City of Yedo and Vicinity (1859)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 2 (1873)
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission Vol. 2 - Empire of Japan (1859)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 8 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 3 (1873)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 7 (1873)


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