The Institut Francais’ Media Library now has a collection of about 800 photo books, making Phnom Penh the Southeast Asian city with the largest collection of books on photography, according to Christian Caujolle, the artistic director of Photo Phnom Penh.
Nearly 650 of these books were published between July 2013 and June 2014, and submitted to Les Rencontres d’Arles, a photography festival in France that holds an annual photo book contest. Each year, the books are donated to a library after the contest. In 2013, they were sent to Chile.
At Mr. Caujolle’s request, those submitted for the 2014 contest were sent to Phnom Penh.
They were added to 150 photography books from the collection Photo Poche donated during the 2013 Photo Phnom Penh festival by Actes Sud publishing in France. Housing such a collection has necessitated some reorganization, said Simon Gardan, head of the Media Library. Due to a lack of space on the ground floor, he said,
“It will be set up on the first floor in order to keep the whole collection together.”
About 80 books are now available for people to view, while the others are being catalogued. Everyone is welcome to consult the books at the library, and library members can also borrow them, Mr. Gardan added.