Cognoscenti Books

Cognoscenti Books is the publishing arm of the online image library Pictures From History, which in turn developed from our core business, the News and Features Agency CPA Media, founded in Hong Kong in 1993.

We are based in the historic and lovely old walled city of Chiang Mai in the far north of Thailand, surrounded by forested mountains - a wonderful place to live and work.

Technology has moved at an incredibly fast and accelerating rate over the intervening two decades. Back in 1993, like just about everybody else, we shot all our images as 35mm or medium format transparencies, then sent them out to clients by post or by courier.

By the time we decided to go digital, we had built up a specialist Asian photo library of more than one hundred thousand images, both contemporary and historical. We began digitizing these in 2010, and now have nearly 20,000 images online, with well over 100,000 still to go - it is a painstaking though very rewarding task.

Perhaps through serendipitous chance, our decision to establish an online image library coincided with the sudden and continuing rise of e-publishing, so with thousands of fine images of Asia already to hand - many of them of a rare historical nature - it suddenly became possible to establish an e-publishing business.

It is our intention that our growing catalogue of e-titles will be distinguished not just by informed and informative text, but by beautiful and unusual images that should, we hope, appeal to a discerning readership. From this we derived our name, Cognoscenti - books for the knowledgeable, or for 'those in the know'.