What we do

TaklaThe Centre for Anthropology and Photography aims to work with anthropologists to document and digitize their collections of fieldwork photographs, and to then deposit them in the Museum's photograph collections.


Staff associated with the Centre will:

  • offer advice on the process of selecting and ordering collections prior to documentation. It is important that collections are initially reviewed for archival suitability and, if not already ordered systematically according to date or location, that this is done prior to creating a registry order of the collection.

  • offer advice on the documentation of a collection. Although wholly familiar with the content and significance of their fieldwork images, many anthropologists are unsure about how to go about cataloguing their materials for future research use by others. Good documentation is absolutely vital for a field collection to realize its full potential as an historical record. Information about the context of events pictured, individual names, exact locations, and other implicit information may be of immense value to future scholars. Staff will take potential donors through the process of cataloguing, and explain the catageories of information that should be recorded, for subsequent incorporation into the Museum's database.

  • work out a digitization plan based upon the size of the collection, the photographic format, and whether the collection needs to be scanned prior to documentation (such as negative-only collections). The Centre is equipped with a Hasselblad Flextight X5 scanner that produces extremely high-quality scans. The scanner is most efficient when dealing with slides and 35mm negatives, which can be scanned in bulk, whereas prints need individual scanning. This will mean that donations of prints will take longer to digitize.

  • work towards making the collection accessible online via the Museum's online catalogue or this website. This will make the material available both to the academic community as well as, potentially, members of the communities represented in the collection. Staff always work closely with donors on questions of cultural sensitivity regarding access to certain parts of a collection, and will always restrict access to sensitive or personal information online where this is felt appropriate.