Early Photography in Albania
The Photo Collection of Richard Busch-Zantner
Albania in 1939
German scholar and social geographer, Richard Busch-Zantner (1911-1942) was a promoter of social geography.
He first studied the social structures of southwestern Albania in the Ottoman period and their links to the economy
and settlement patterns. In 1938, he presented his doctoral dissertation at the University of Erlangen, Agrar-
verfassung, Gesellschaft und Siedlung in Südosteuropa unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Türkenzeit
(Agrarian Structure, Society and Settlement in Southeastern Europe with Special Attention to the Turkish Period),
which was based primarily on material from Albania. Soon thereafter he published a general work on Albania
(under Italian occupation) entitled Albanien: Neues Land im Imperium (Albania: a New Country in the Empire),
Leipzig 1939. It is from his work, based on a journey through Albania in 1939, after the country’s occupation by
fascist Italy, that the following photo collection is taken. During the Second World War, Busch-Zantner also
published a book on Bulgaria, but died as a soldier on the Russian front in August 1942.