French Penal Colonies: a piece of History rediscovered

French Guiana Penal Colonies: A Piece of History Rediscovered

The city of Saint-Laurent-le-Maroni has just acquired the rights to a collection of photographs of Guyana penal colonies taken between 1906 and 1911 by Dr. Léon Collin. His grandson, Philippe Collin, recently discovered the photographs in the attic of the family home in Saône-et-Loire. Thinking that he would find “medical” photographs, he instead came across thousands of glass plates and manuscripts preserved in boxes, illustrating and describing the daily lives of prisoners beginning with their departure from the Île de Ré to their imprisonment in French Guiana or New Caledonia.



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