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Recently Launched: John Reps Bastides Collection

Cornell University Library (CUL) and Digital Scholarship & Preservation Services (DSPS) is pleased to announce the launch of the John Reps Bastides Collection. This collection presents six decades’ worth of photos taken by Cornell Professor Emeritus John Reps over a series of visits to these unusual planned towns in southwestern France which date back to the thirteenth century.


Reps first visited the area in 1951 and returned several times over the next 60 years to photo document the towns. These trips generated thousands of photos from which the images in this collection were hand picked by Reps. In addition to an unprecedented trove of images documenting the region and the towns, the site also includes writings and contextual material written and assembled specially for the site.



Each of the more than 2,500 photos has been painstakingly plotted on an interactive map by which the viewer can navigate the towns, compare images of the same locations over time and access a Google Street View for the location depicted in each photo.

This collection continues Cornell’s online efforts to make available Reps’ extraordinary collections. This effort began in 2013 with the site, Urban Explorer: The John Reps Travel Photographs, which documents planning practices and responses to urban issues from fifteen countries.

The Bastides Collection offers a rich exploration of an interesting chapter in the history of town planning, and CUL is pleased to make it openly available.

Many thanks go to John Reps for sharing this wonderful collection, and to CUL’s project team: Manolo Bevia, Jenn Colt, Eirva Diamessis, Rhea Garen, Hannah Marshall, Danielle Mericle (formerly DSPS), Jim Reidy, Marsha Taichman and Melissa Wallace.



– Hannah Marshall and Melissa Wallace


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