A new addition to my list of museum databases available online (which you can find here) are the online archives of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) in Cambridge (UK); you can explore them here. This new, fully searchable online catalogue of the object, photograph and document collections cared for by MAA was launched in August 2020 and is well worth a visit – it’s easy to loose a couple of hours in it 🙂
In the photo archives you’ll find the complete files of G.I. Jones, who travelled among the Igbo and neighbouring groups in the 1930s – an incredible recourse. Also travelling in Nigeria two decades earlier, was Northcote W. Thomas (who got a dedicated webpage here). The museum also holds important collection besides Africa: its founding curator, Anatole von Hügel spent several years in Fiji and assembled the single most important collection of nineteenth-century Fijian art outside Fiji itself. Other notable collections were brought together by Charles Hose for the Sarawak, by Gregory Bateson for the Sepik River, and by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf for the Nagas.
Besides the ‘objects’ section, the archives of field-photos are truly spectacular and full of rare and unpublished images – below a small selection of some of my discoveries – but please do go explore yourself !
Ngombe family, photographed by Kenred Smith (info). Image courtesy of the MAA.