Album du Vieux Paris
Commissioned in 1864 by Paris’ agency on historic works (under the aegis of urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann), Marville made approximately 425 photographs of the narrow streets and crumbling buildings of the premodern city at the very moment they were threatened by demolition. Known as the “Album du Vieux Paris,” the complete series of photographs are held by the Musée Carnavalet, Paris, as well as the Bibliothèque de la Ville, Paris. The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia also holds a significant collection of Marville photographs (331 photographs) gifted to the Library by the Government of France in 1881. The negatives are housed in the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris. Marville also made many photographs of Paris in the 1870s and frequently worked for city agencies to document historic transformations of the urban environment, including civic renovation and construction projects, the establishment of new parks and the installation of a host of modern conveniences, such as the elegant new gas lamps and vespasiennes (public urinals).