Photographs of the Philippines, including images of Spanish and Philippine people, military personnel, houses and government buildings, churches, villages and towns, rivers and landscapes, and material culture.
Alexander Schadenberg (1851-1896) was a chemist and ethnographer, and a natural history enthusiast. Born in Breslau, Germany, he studied chemistry and botany. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as the assistant director of the Potassic Salt Works in Stassfurt. In 1876, he went to worked as a chemist for the drug company Pablo Sartorius in Manila and in 1879, illness forced him to move back to Breslau.
From 1881 to 1883, Schadenberg and his friend Otto Koch visited southern Mindanao to carry out ethnographic and linguistic studies, basing themselves in the Bagobo village of Sibulan. There, they also made ethnographic and natural history collections. Upon their return to Germany Schadenberg spent several years working on his collections, publishing, lecturing and corresponding with museums and anthropological societies throughout Europe.
Schadenberg later returned to the Philippines and became a partner of Pablo Sartorius. He settled with his family in Vigan in 1885 and continued his excursions among the native people of the islands. After Schadenberg's death in 1896, his collections passed to several museums in Dresden, Vienna, Berlin, and Leyden.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Dresden Museum holds the bulk of the photographs donated by Schadenberg's wife. The National Library of Australia holds some of Schadenberg's photographs in the Otley Beyer collection of photographs.
The collection was given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1903 by Dr. A.B. Meyer, Director of the Dresden Museum (Original accession no. USNM 41586). In his letter offering the smaller set of negatives to the Smithsonian, Meyer's writes,"The Dresden Museum recently received a present from the widow of Dr. Schadenberg who lived for years in the Philippines, and with whom together I published, as you will be aware, several works on these islands, some hundreds of negatives, the result of the photographic work of her late husband. Among these are about 150 which are of no value, whatever, for this Museum."
The original negatives are fragile and not available for viewing. Digital surrogates are available.