The late HCA Elmiger was born in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1894 and emigrated to Sumatra, Indonesia, in 1919 to work as an assistant on a rubber plantation. He rose through the hierarchy of several private companies active in the rubber trade and eventually came to Cambodia in 1924 where he became successively director of the Thmar Pitt, Peam Cheang, Chup and Mimot rubber plantations in Kompong Cham province. As one of the longest-serving “rubber barons” of Cambodia, Elmiger helped develop the country’s agro-industrial economy from the late 1920s through WW II and into the 1950s when he retired and moved back to Switzerland. His collection of more than 1,000 black-and-white photographs documents both the technical aspects of rubber production and the daily life on a rubber plantation. The NAC’s colonial holdings contain numerous documents on the colonial plantation industry, which complement these photographies. This precious collection was received by the NAC in 2007 as a donation by the family of the late HCA Elmiger.
Size of collection: 1044 photographies.
Finding aides: Database, searchable by category or key word.