The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology will soon put thousands of one-of-a-kind ethnographic and archaeological photos from around the world online for the public and researchers, thanks to a new $215,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The museum’s photographic archive is a treasure trove of late 19th to early 20th century photography, and features indigenous peoples and world cultures. Over time, the photographic collections have developed into a premier resource for national and international research.
“This grant gives us the ability to complete the preservation and access of the museum’s core negative collection,” says India Spartz, senior archivist at the Peabody Museum. “It includes our oldest and most fragile images.”
The grant enables the Peabody Museum to begin the second phase of its long-term goal to preserve and make its entire photo archive publicly accessible. One year ago, the museum completed a three-year NEH Preservation and Access grant that allowed more than 30,000 images from the museum’s core negative collection to be digitized, cataloged, and uploaded to the Web, ending the first phase of scanning the Peabody’s photo archive.
The new grant will fund the scanning of the more than 25,000 remaining core negatives, a process that will include rehousing and cataloging the negatives, and mounting the images online. Completing this work will reduce the need for handling the originals.
To search the core negatives from the project, visit the Peabody Museum’s Collections Online database.