Photography

The over 500,000 photographs in the Peabody Museum Archives reflect the history of how anthropological photography has portrayed people, places, and ideas from around the globe from the 1850s to the twenty-first century. The collection also includes photographic documentation of the history of the Peabody Museum, its exhibitions, expeditions, staff, and related archaeological and ethnographic artifacts. The photographs comprise a wide range of formats, from daguerreotype to digital. The variety of approaches, styles, and cultural expressions represented in the collections has grown as anthropologists and photographers have become increasingly diverse, offering new techniques, perspectives, and models of collaboration.

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Highlights from the Photographic Collections

Portrait of Samuel Smith "A Cherokee delegate" by A. Zeno Shindler, Washington, D.C. 1868. 2004.29.6220

Mid-nineteenth century albumen and salt print studio portraits of Native American delegates and leaders who travelled to Washington D.C. to negotiate treaties with the United States government

Portrait of Samuel Smith "A Cherokee delegate" by A. Zeno Shindler, Washington, D.C. 1868. 2004.29.6220

Man standing next to Altar of Stela 4. Copán. 2004.24.256

Glass plate negatives of the 1890s Museum excavations at the Mayan city of Copán, collectively providing a visual narrative about the early archaeologists’ interactions with the local community which have since been used to facilitate interviews with contemporary residents about the adjacent town’s history

Man standing next to Altar of Stela 4. Copán2004.24.256

Hand colored lantern slide of a rural Tibetan kitchen, by Frederick Wulsin, 1923. Gift of Frederick R. Wulsin, 56-55-60/15669.1

Hand-colored lantern slides of renowned religious and cultural centers across Tibet, China, and Mongolia, produced from the original 2000 glass plate photographs taken by American couple Janet and Frederick Wulsin during their 1920s National Geographic Society expeditions

Hand colored lantern slide of a rural Tibetan kitchen, by Frederick Wulsin, 1923. Gift of Frederick R. Wulsin, 56-55-60/15669.1

Photograph of a stone figure above the north doorway of the Caracol or Observatory of Chichen Itza, Mexico, 1929. Gift of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 58-34-00/2.1724

The Carnegie Institution of Washington’s 44,000 photograph collection, documenting archaeological research undertaken at precolonial Maya sites in Mexico and Central America between 1929-1957. It includes early images of Uaxactun, Copán, Piedras Negras, Yaxchilan, Coba, Quiriguá, Tayasal, Kaminaljuyu, and Chichen Itza

Photograph of a stone figure above the north doorway of the Caracol or Observatory of Chichen Itza, Mexico, 1929. Gift of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 58-34-00/2.1724

Photograph of Honda Lama in Dhinga village, Humla district, Nepal, takeb by Gardner Fellow Kevin Bubriski, 2010. Copyright © 2014 Kevin Bubriski, 2015.2.26.43

A growing collection of 21st century photographic prints and digital scans documenting "the human condition anywhere in the world" by recipients of the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography since 2007

Photograph of Honda Lama in Dhinga village, Humla district, Nepal, takeb by Gardner Fellow Kevin Bubriski, 2010. Copyright © 2014 Kevin Bubriski, 2015.2.26.43

Ruth Phillips washing sherds at the Jaketown site in Mississippi. 993-23-10/100524.1.8.5.4

Photographs and maps of precolonial and colonial sites in the region of the Lower Mississippi Valley ranging from southern Missouri and Illinois all the way to the Gulf Coast, which constitute just part of the larger collection of materials from the Lower Mississippi Survey conducted by Harvard archaeologists from 1939-1977

Ruth Phillips washing sherds at the Jaketown site in Mississippi. 993-23-10/100524.1.8.5.4

Nineteenth century portrait of a young Japanese woman in traditional dress by Baron Raimund Stillfried von Rathenitz. 2003.1.2223.290

Hand-tinted and studio-produced photographic prints present posed stereotyped views of traditional Japanese culture which were popular souvenirs among late nineteenth-century tourists to Japan. Studio photographers included Raimund von Stillfried, Felice Beato, Kuichi Uchida, Kimbei Kusakabe and others

Nineteenth century portrait of a young Japanese woman in traditional dress by Baron Raimund Stillfried von Rathenitz. 2003.1.2223.290

Mounted daguerrotype of Chinese woman "Pwan Ye-Koo," in profile, taken in Boston by Lorenzo G. Chase, 1850. 35-5-10/53057

A small, significant collection of one of the earliest photographic technologies, these mid-nineteenth-century daguerreotypes depict Native American, Chinese, Indian, and African peoples; as well as African and African-American  enslaved individuals, photographed by Joseph Zealy for Louis Agassiz. These are among the earliest pictures of people captured in the horrific institution of slavery

Mounted daguerrotype of Chinese woman "Pwan Ye-Koo," in profile, taken in Boston by Lorenzo G. Chase, 1850. 35-5-10/53057

Photograph of a young woman carrying nuts and child in Namibia 1953. Gift of Laurence K. Marshall and Lorna J. Marshall, 2001.29.802

An historically important archive of contemporary hunter-gatherers, including extensive collection of photographic and written records, created by the Laurence K. and Lorna J. Marshall family multi-disciplinary expeditions from 1950-1961, documenting aspects of the daily lives of Indigenous peoples of the Kalahari–primarily the Ju/’hoansi and Gwi

Photograph of a young woman carrying nuts and child in Namibia 1953. Gift of Laurence K. Marshall and Lorna J. Marshall, 2001.29.802

Photograph of Dani men sitting under an olea, Baliem Valley region, central highlands of western New Guinea (the Indonesian province of Papua), 1961. Photograph by Robert G. Gardner, 2006.16.1.11.6

Photographs of the Dani, or Hubula, people taken during the 1960 Harvard Peabody expedition to Irian Jaya, Indonesia (then Dutch New Guinea) led by filmmaker Robert Gardner, with work by Gardner, Peter Matthiessen, Michael Rockefeller, Eliot Elisofon, Karl Heider, Samuel Putnam and Jan Broekhuyse. The collection also includes raw sound recordings made for the film Dead Birds (1963)

Photograph of Dani men sitting under an olea, Baliem Valley region, central highlands of western New Guinea (the Indonesian province of Papua), taken by Robert Gardner 1961. Photograph by Robert G. Gardner, 2006.16.1.11.6

All images © President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology unless otherwise noted