Documented Landscape presents a selection of images from the archives of Carl Schröter and the Geobotanical Institute Rübel, part of the vast image archive at the main library of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich. Founded by Eduard Rübel in 1918 and later bequeathed to ETH Zürich, the Geobotanical Institute Rübel conducted pioneering research on ecosystems and botanical biodiversity in the Alps. Rübel’s teacher, botanist and professor Carl Schröter, was himself a pioneer of biodiversity and landscape conservation. Both Rübel and Schröter were among of the first botanists to use photography as a means to document their research, thus making it available to a wider public and drawing attention to their early efforts in environmentalism. While the photographs bear witness to a bygone era, their depiction of a changing landscape and progressing human interference are still strikingly topical today. An in-depth introduction by historian Ruedi Weidmann accompanies ninety images selected from the comprehensive collection.
The seventh volume in Scheidegger and Spiess’s Pictorial Worlds series, Documented Landscape will appeal to anyone interested in the history of photography or science and in the Alps as an ecosystem.