These images are derived from a very rare Russian publication with original photographs pasted on stiff textured paper. The transcribed title is "V Kitaiskikh kumirniakh gor. Ashikhe" (Temples of the City of Ashikhe); it was published in what must have been a very small print run in Harbin in 1925 - I have not seen another copy to date. I have been in possession of a (good) copy for almost ten years, but only now found the time to scan and post-process all 32 photographs. The photographer's name is cited as D. Raninin.
As far as I was able to establish, this Daoist abode named Wenchangge 文昌阁 does not exist anymore as such. It has either been neglected/destroyed, or repurposed. However, the place name is still in evidence in Ashihe 阿什河 (now Achengqu 阿城区, a district of Harbin 哈尔滨 since 2004). This may well be the only existing visual record of the old structure and its Daoist and lay caretakers. It is a rather comprehensive coverage of the site as one goes through the well-annotated images. Perhaps somebody in the not so distant future will be kind enough to assist with transcribing the Russian-only image captions into English & Chinese.
Scanned on the Epson 4990 to 400dpi TIF, then individually processed (converted to greyscale, level, contrast, sharpness and other adustments) in Adobe Lightroom 2.1.
Thomas H. Hahn
April 6, 2009, in Ithaca, NY
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images