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Anthropology Photographic Archive - The University Of Auckland

Project Details


In October 2002 funding was received from the University of Auckland Vice Chancellor’s Development Fund to digitise a selection of images from the University of Auckland Department of Anthropology Photograph Archive in order to preserve the collection and increase access to a valuable research resource. The project was a joint venture between the Department of Anthropology who own and manage the archive and the University Library who have expertise in digitisation projects and database management.

After completing an audit of the archive a selection of valuable research images and those most at risk of deterioration were selected by subject experts. Funding allowed approximately 5000 images (from a total of 80,000) to be scanned. The images most of which were in negative format were scanned at 300 dpi in tiff format for preservation purposes by an external company (Desktop Imaging, Wellington). These images were not corrected in any way. A small and medium size low resolution jpg (96 dpi and 200 dpi) was then generated for use in an image database. An image database was designed in-house using Inmagic software for delivery of images and description information.

Subject experts created records with description information for approximately 5000 images from September 2003– March 2004. Some of the description information was obtained from field notebooks held in the archive that were written by the original researchers whilst on expeditions and excavations. The database was launched in June 2004.

In 2008 the original 5000 images and the metadata describing them were moved to the Library's new DigiTool digital asset management system (DAMS) platform which provides added security and processes for the long-term curation of digital objects. DigiTool stores the original unmodified TIFF files from each scan and creates separate JP2000 files for fast web delivery.

Further digitization work was undertaken in 2008 and 2009 with funding from the University of Auckland Library, bringing the total number of digitized objects to over 8000. In 2010 it was decided to work towards digitising the entire collection and this was completed in June 2013. A total of around 60,000 images have been scanned and uploaded.

Filmstrips were scanned in-house at 4000 dpi for a file size of around 55 MB per frame and uploaded to DigitTool in batches of 500 at a time, with corrresponding Dublin Core metadata in CSV files.

The priority has been to complete the digitization of the collection with existing descriptive material and some basic Library of Congress subject headings. Metadata has being taken from annotations on negative folders and corresponding prints, inventories held with the prints, and a legacy in-house database.

It is hoped to supplement this in the future from other sources and also to enable members of the public to add personal information about people and places. Some of the original photographers have contacted the Library to add more information about their photographs.

The original negatives and slides and other material from the Archive were transferred to General Library Special Collections at the University of Auckland Library in 2013.

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Project Staff

Project Managers: Rose Holley and John Laurie
Photo Archivist: Tim Mackrell
Subject Experts: Louise Furey, Claudia Gross, Hamish Macdonald, Judith Huntsman
Cataloguing Advisors: Fenella Gordon and Maja Batinica
Database Design: Rose Holley and John Laurie
Database Interface: Leonie Hayes and John Laurie
Web Design: Ian Jones
Copyright and Cultural Sensitivity: Richard Moyle

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Placenames and Geographic Locations:

World Regions:
'Reference map of Oceania: the Pacific Islands of Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia' Cartographer James A Bier, published by University of Hawaii Press 1995 was used as the definitive source.

New Zealand:
Placenames were obtained from Tapuhi. Tapuhi uses the Times Atlas and Wises guides as a source. In addition for district and regional information they use the LINZ maps of Local Authority Boundaries.

For placenames outside New Zealand the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names TGN was used. In addition for Papua New Guinea the following maps were used. Current names are used.

  • Papua New Guinea General Reference Map 1986/1996 (1:2,500,000), National Mapping Bureau.
  • Map of Papua New Guinea, Hema Maps, 2nd edition, 1992
  • Papua New Guinea, Robert Brown & Assoc. and Dept of Geography, UPNG

In addition the following publications were referred to and have relevant maps of districts and/or villages and/or topographical information for Papua New Guinea:

Healey, Christopher J. (1990)
Maring hunters and traders : production and exchange in the Papua New Guinea highlands.
Berkeley : University of California Press.

Hanson, Luke and Allen, Bryant et al (2001)
Papua New Guinea rural development handbook.
Canberra, ACT : Land Management Group, Dept. of Human Geography, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Bulmer, Ralph and Majnep, Ian Saem (1977)
Birds of my Kalam country = Mnmon yad Kalam yakt
Auckland University Press ; Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Draper, Norman and Draper, Sheila (2002)
Dictionary of Kyaka Enga, Papua New Guinea.
Canberra, ACT : Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.

Bulmer, Ralph (1960)
Leadership and social structure among the Kyaka people of the Western Highlands district of New Guinea.
Canberra: Thesis (PhD--Anthropology)--Australian National University.

Jackson, Graham George (1975)
The Kopon : life and death on the fringes of the New Guinea Highlands.
Thesis (PhD--Anthropology)--University of Auckland.

Rappaport, Roy A. (1984)
Pigs for the ancestors.
New Haven: Yale University Press.

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Photo Archivist working at lightbox.
Quality controlling images.

Worksheet Image

Selection sheet for negatives.

© 2007 Ex Libris