Reflections on an Orientalist: Alexander Kuhn (1840–88), the Man and his Legacy

Olga Yastrebova, Arezou Azad

Research output

2 Citations (Scopus)


Alexander Ludvigovich Kuhn (1840–88) was a Russian Orientalist of German-Armenian descent. The most important period of his activity was his service in Central Asia where on behalf of the Turkestan Governorate-General he collected manuscripts, archives and other materials, joining the military campaigns to Kītāb of ShahriSabz, Iskanderkul, Kokand and Khiva. A large number of the manuscripts were sent back to St. Petersburg to the Imperial Public Library, but some never left Kun's possession until they were donated to the Asiatic Museum after his death. Kun was also in charge of the compilation of the famous “Turkistan Albums”—a major collection of photos testifying to the different nationalities and customs that made up the populations of Central Asia. Until now, Kun's biography has been little known to us. The article takes a look into the personal archive of Kun, and describes the man and his motivations and desires.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalIranian Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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