This unusual publication, printed in Harbin, China, in Polish language includes single and group portraits of Poles, living in the city, views of Harbin and its surroundings, various Catholic institutions in Asia, Polish children at the first communion, the Polish church in Harbin and various expeditions of the author Kazimierz Grochowski.
Kazimierz Grochowski (1873-1937) was a polish engineer, working in Harbin, who was exploring Siberia, Manchuria and Mongolia. The photographs show Grochowski in snowy landscapes, often surrounded with other people, dogs and deer.
Poles in Harbin
On March 8th 1898, a polish engineer Adam Szydłowski, employed by the Russian Empire and accompanied by a team of technicians, builders and Kuban Cossacks, guarding the silver worth of 100000 rubles, and looking for a perfect location for a settlement for the Chinese Eastern Railway, reached a quiet Chinese village Harbin, at the time inhabited mostly by fisherman.
Szydłowski prepared the plans for the new modern settlement and in May of the same year the first builders of mostly Polish origins arrived. Soon Harbin became a thriving city with a large Polish minority with its own churches, institutions and even the only Polish school in Asia.
According to Worldcat, examples of the book are held in the Polish libraries, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung, Bibliothek, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, University of Cambridge and University of British Columbia Library.
References: OCLC 166068651, 68681051, 822040291.