Fonds Bontemps

Cabos-Brullé, Marine. Fonds Bontemps. France China Archives, (consulté le 15 juillet 2019).


This archive encompasses 400 still images and 23 silent films originally taken by André Bontemps, a deputy army judge who lived in the French Concession in Tianjin from 1931 to 1935.


This archive includes:
– 400 still images, some are annotated almost certainly in Jacques Lacome’s hand.
– 23 silent films
– 3 cameras (Welta Perle, Kodak Junior, Koilos)
– several maps
– several periodicals entitled “L’Ancre de Chine”, a bimonthly magazine liaising between French militaries in China
– tourist brochures on Japan and China
– tourist tickets

Taken chiefly in Tianjin in the mid-1930s, the photographs of this archive document this expatriate family daily life, their leisure, their travel experience, as well as military presence and activities in China.

In 2011 Jacques Lacome (André Bontemps’ grandson) donated the entire archive to the Parisian research centre called Institut d’histoire du temps présent (IHTP).

Since then the scholar Dr. Fleur Chabaille – specialised in Contemporary and Modern China urban history – offered a comprehensive visual study of this corpus. Starting from this case study, she eventually examined the French military presence in 1930s Tianjin.

The Institut d’Asie orientale (IAO) in Lyon digitized all the still and moving images, which are freely accessible on “Virtual Tianjin” website.

Lire plus sur France China Archives

André Bontemps (1888-1969)


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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