Case studies

Nicholas J. Allen collection


Indo-British Himalayan Expedition truck, 1969 [2008.115.21]Indo-British Himalayan Expedition truck, 1969 [2008.115.21]After initial studies in medicine at Oxford and St. Mary's Hospital, London, Nick Allen re-trained in social anthropology between 1965 and 1972, conducting his fieldwork in Nepal in 1969-71. His subsequent DPhil thesis, Studies in the myths and oral traditions of the Thulung Rai of East Nepal, was awarded in 1976. Between 1976 and 2001 he was Lecturer and then Reader in the Social Anthropology of South Asia at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. Nick Allen donated his fieldwork photographs in 2008. The collection was already organized according to fieldwork trips, including his doctoral fieldwork and subsequent visits to Kinnaur in 1981 and 1983, but were not documented at individual level. The collection was accessioned and numbered by staff at the Museum and then digitized so that Dr Allen could document the collection using a larger screen version of the image. When completed, this documentation will be incorporated into the Pitt Rivers Museum's photograph collections database for the collection.


Paul Baxter collection


Men playing mancala, northern Kenya, 1952-3 [2008.2.2.7]Men playing mancala, northern Kenya, 1952-3 [2008.2.2.7]After studies in English and Anthropology at Cambridge, Paul Baxter came to Oxford to read for a BLitt in Social Anthropology, and subsequently a DPhil under the supervision of E.E. Evans-Pritchard. Initially hoping to conduct fieldwork among pastoralists in British Somaliland, he was refused entry by the then governor, who did not want an anthropologist ‘meddling’ in the country. Instead, still hoping to study a pastoralist people, he turned his attention to the Borana of northern Kenya, who had been written about before in southern Ethiopia, but not in Kenya. Paul Baxter spent two years in the field between 1951-2, in and around Marsabit in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, taking his wife and young son with him. Baxter's subsequent thesis, The Social Organisation of the Galla of Northern Kenya, remains unpublished, though it was influential and is widely cited. Baxter went on to become Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Manchester, and donated his collection of field photographs in 2008. The negatives had been numbered in sleeves many years previously and a typewritten list with brief descriptions was donated at the time, also linked to prints in a fieldwork album. The negatives were subsequently scanned and are in the process of being catalogued using this original documentation. In 2010 Dr Neil Carrier at the University of Oxford took digital copies of Baxter's fieldwork photographs back to Marsabit to elicit further information about them, and to research the people and places represented in the images. This illuminating research will be the subject of a forthcoming book chapter by Carrier.


Christopher Hallpike collection


Christopher Hallpike in Ethiopia, 1966 [2011.20.139]Christopher Hallpike in Ethiopia, 1966 [2011.20.139]After taking his undergraduate degree in PPE, and the Diploma in Anthropology, Hallpike studied for the B.Litt and the D.Phil under E.E.Evans-Pritchard at Oxford. While enquiring about the possibilities of fieldwork in Ethiopia, Wilfred Thesiger drew his attention to the Konso, among whom Hallpike lived from 1965-67. His doctoral research was published in 1972 as The Konso of Ethiopia. A study of the values of a Cushitic people. A subsequent visit in 1997 led to a completely revised second edition, published in 2008. After Ethiopia, Hallpike wished to conduct further fieldwork in a totally different area, and while a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University in Canada, and supported by the Canada Council, he went to Papua New Guinea to study the Tauade people from 1970-72. This research was published in 1977 as Bloodshed and Vengeance in the Papuan Mountains. The generation of conflict in Tauade society. Hallpike is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, McMaster University, Canada. Christopher Hallpike donated his collection of negatives and slides in 2011, and then catalogued them in detail after they had been digitized at the Centre for Anthropology and Photography. This catalogue was then entered into the Museum's photograph database by a volunteer and made available online. For further information on Dr Hallpike's work, visit his website. A glossary of Konso terms used in the catalogue is also available to download here.


Patti Langton collection


Patti Langton in southern Sudan, 1979-80 [2008.78.1.87]Patti Langton in southern Sudan, 1979-80 [2008.78.1.87]After working as a probation officer in east London, Patti Langton came to Oxford to study anthropology at the Department of Ethnology and Prehistory in the Pitt Rivers Museum, completing an MLitt by thesis under the supervision of Schuyler Jones on ethnicity in Sri Lanka. She joined the first British Institute in Eastern Africa expedition to southern Sudan in January-March 1979, where she made a collection of objects for the Pitt Rivers Museum, mostly from the Moru, Tuich Dinka and Larim people. She returned to the Larim to conduct further fieldwork under difficult local conditions between January - July 1980. She subsequently worked as an award-winning producer for the BBC between 1982 and 1999, working on documentaries in Africa, India and Asia on cross-cultural and social issues. Her film A Time to Woo on marriage in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco won a major prize at the Margaret Mead Film Festival for outstanding contribution to cross-cultural understanding, with two public screenings, as well as a special screening at the RAI Film Festival. Patti Langton donated her collection of fieldwork negatives and slides in 2008 as a result of the Museum's southern Sudan project, which had made her collection of objects available online. Her fieldwork photographs were sorted prior to donation, and then numbered and scanned by Museum staff. Since January 2009 Patti has been cataloguing her field photographs in great detail using the digitized images and her field notebooks, deposited at the same time as her photograph collection. Instead of cataloguing the collection at a distance, the Museum arranged for her to have Research Associate status at the Museum and come in regularly once a week to work on the documentation for her collection.


Brian Moser / Donald Tayler collection  [view selection of images]


Two Makuna men playing panpipes [2007.28.4321]Two Makuna men playing panpipes [2007.28.4321]In 2007 Brian Moser and Donald Tayler donated a collection of photographs taken during the Anglo-Colombian Recording Expedition of 1960-1, which took as its focus the collection of ethnographic objects, including musical instruments (now in the British Museum), sound recordings (now in the British Library), film, and photographs of a number of indigenous groups in Colombia, such as the Tukano, Noanamá, Ika, Yukpa, and Kuna. Subsequent to this expedition Brian Moser followed a successful career producing ethnographic films for television, such as the Disappearing World and World in Action series for Granada. Donald Tayler became Lecturer in Ethnology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford, and published a number of works on Colombian ethnography. After the collection was deposited it was numbered and stored in archival sleeves in the Museum's photograph collections. In early 2008 Donald Tayler visited the Museum regularly to work on the documentation for the collection, making manuscript annotations to a series of photocopies of the original contact sheets. This documentation was then used by Museum staff to catalogue the entire collection of over seven thousand negatives and slides. Whilst the slides have largely been digitized, the individual 6x6 negatives taken on the Expedition's Rolleiflex camera have yet to be scanned.


John Tyman collection


2007.47.26.90. Men hunting seals. Nunavut, Taloyoak, 1988-90.2007.47.26.90. Men hunting seals. Nunavut, Taloyoak, 1988-90.John Langton Tyman was born in England and after service in the British army and studies at Oxford University he moved to Canada in 1959, first to McGill University in Montreal and then to Brandon, Manitoba, where he established the Department of Geography in 1962. His 1970 doctoral thesis from Oxford (The disposition of farm lands in western Manitoba, 1870-1930: studies in prairie settlement’) examined processes at work in pioneer settlement, on the Prairies in general and Western Manitoba in particular. Serving as Dean of Science in 1974 and 1975 he then moved to Australia, which he had visited previously on a post-doctoral fellowship from the Canada Council (lecturing at universities in Perth and Townsville), where he was employed initially as Principal Lecturer in Social Studies and Head of the Division of Humanities at the Mount Gravatt Campus of the Brisbane College of Advanced Education. He was later appointed associate professor of education at Griffith University, and between 1976 and 1990 was mostly involved in teacher training. During this time he lived for extended periods of time with families in a range of environments – including the Arctic, Papua New Guinea, the Himalayas, and the Sahara. The research was intended to explore the realities of daily life under different environmental conditions and, using a variety of cameras and tape recorders, to produce “snapshots” of changing societies at a particular point in time. John Tyman donated his Inuit and PNG fieldwork slides in 2007, and a further collection of slides and video in 2011. He has also produced an educational website of his photographs.


Peter Rivière collection [view selection of images]


Missionary at Paloemeu teaching children [2001.33.331.1]Missionary at Paloemeu teaching children [2001.33.331.1]After undergraduate studies at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was accepted to read geography but then shifted to archaeology and anthropology under G.I. Jones and Meyer Fortes, Peter Rivière spent a year on a filming and botanical expedition to South America, where he met Audrey Butt. In 1962 he entered Magdalen College, Oxford, to read for a BLitt in social anthropology, his thesis being titled An ethnographic survey of the Indians of the divide of the Guianese and Amazonian river systems. His 1965 DPhil thesis was titled The social organisation of the Trio Indians of Surinam. After a two–year research fellowship at the newly-opened Institute for Latin American Studies at London University where he spent time in Brazil working on ranching communities, he spent a year in Harvard as a visiting lecturer. Following a year as assistant lecturer in the social anthropology of Latin America at Cambridge, he applied for John Beattie’s post at Oxford and remained there from 1971 until retirement as Professor of Social Anthropology in 2001, when he donated his collection of field photographs, taken in 1963–4, 1967 and 1978. In 2003 Peter Rivière worked with Museum staff on the documentation for his photographs which were then catalogued, and in 2008 the entire collection of negatives was digitized. In July 2009 the digitized collection was shown to a group of Trio people from Surinam who were visiting the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, and their responses were recorded. Copies of the digitized photographs were then given to the community for their use in Surinam.


Peter Worsley collection


Women working at a table, Groote Eylandt, 1952-3 [2009.10.224]Women working at a table, Groote Eylandt, 1952-3 [2009.10.224]After undergraduate studies in English at Cambridge, which were interrupted by the Second World War, Peter Worsley worked on a mass education project in Tanganyika, where he gained a serious interest in anthropology. He then went on to study anthropology at the University of Manchester under Max Gluckman, winning the RAI's Curl Essay Prize in 1955 for his essay The kinship system of the Tallensi: a reevaluation. Due to his membership of the communist party, Worsley was to find fieldwork options severely limited, and having entered Australian National University with the intention of conducting doctoral fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, he again found government limitations placed upon him, and instead went in 1952-3 to Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Peter Worlsey's photographs at the Pitt Rivers Museum relate entirely to this fieldwork expedition. Finding doors shut to him in anthropology in the UK, Peter instead became a lecturer in sociology, first at Hull University and then as the first Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester. Seen as a founder member of the New Left, and the writer who introduced the term 'the Third World' into English, Peter Worsley's contributions to anthropology and sociology have been many and varied, such as The Trumpet Shall Sound (1957), The Third World (1964), Introducing Sociology (1970) which sold over half a million copies, and Knowledges: Culture, Counterculture, Subculture (1997). His autobiography, An Academic Skating on Thin Ice, was published in 2010. Peter Worsley donated his photographs from Groote Eylandt in 2009 and worked with Museum staff on the documentation for them, based on his original notes and captions. The negatives were unrolled, cut into strips, and scanned shortly afterwards.


Schuyler Jones collection

The Centre is pleased to announce that the former Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Schuyler Jones, has agreed to deposit his important photographic archive. The first installment of the collection arrived at the Museum in November 2012, and staff at the Centre will be digitising the material to send back to Schuyler for documentation. The first set of material relates to Dr Jones's anthropological research in Nuristan (Afghanistan) in the 1970s, and will provide a wonderful complement to the Thesiger collection from the same region.


virtual_collections_logo