From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme

From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme Author: Maja Kominko (ed.)
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Much of world’s documentary heritage rests in vulnerable, little-known and often inaccessible archives. Many of these archives preserve information that may cast new light on historical phenomena and lead to their reinterpretation. But such rich collections are often at risk of being lost before the history they capture is recorded. This volume celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library, established to document and publish online formerly inaccessible and neglected archives from across the globe.

From Dust to Digital showcases the historical significance of the collections identified, catalogued and digitised through the Programme, bringing together articles on 19 of the 244 projects supported since its inception. These contributions demonstrate the range of materials documented — including rock inscriptions, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and sound archives — and the wide geographical scope of the Programme. Many of the documents are published here for the first time, illustrating the potential these collections have to further our understanding of history.

The Endangered Archives Programme website features over four million images from more than 240 projects. You can follow the projects’ progress on the Endangered Archives blog.


The PDF and epub editions of this book contain embedded audio files. If your device supports MP3 files you will be able to listen to the music directly. Alternatively, you can access the music online by following the links or scanning the QR codes provided.
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The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.


From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme
Maja Kominko (ed.) | February 2015
Ixviii + 654 | 230 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783740628
ISBN Hardback: 9781783740635
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783740642
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783740659
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783740666
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0052
BIC subject codes: GLP (Archiving, Preservation and Digitisation), JFC (Cultural Studies), JFCD (Material Culture)



Acknowledgements

List of illustrations

List of recordings

Notes on contributors

Introduction
Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin
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Preserving the past: creating the Endangered Archives Programme
Barry Supple
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The Endangered Archives Programme after ten years
Anthea Case
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What the Endangered Archives Programme does

Crumb trails, threads and traces: Endangered Archives and history
Maja Kominko
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PART I. INSCRIPTIONS
1. The "written landscape” of the central Sahara: recording and digitising the Tifinagh inscriptions in the Tadrart Acacus Mountains
Stefano Biagetti, Ali Ait Kaci and Savino di Lernia
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PART II. MANUSCRIPTS
2. Metadata and endangered archives: lessons from the Ahom manuscripts project
Stephen Morey
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3. Unravelling Lepcha manuscripts
Heleen Plaisier
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4. Technological aspects of the monastic manuscript collection
at May Wäyni, Ethiopia
Jacek Tomaszewski and Michael Gervers
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5. Localising Islamic knowledge: acquisition and copying of the
Riyadha Mosque manuscript collection in Lamu, Kenya
Anne Bang
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6. In the shadow of Timbuktu: the manuscripts of Djenné
Sophie Sarin
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PART III. DOCUMENTARY ARCHIVES
7. The first Gypsy/Roma organisations, churches and newspapers
Elena Mariushakova and Veselin Popov
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8. Sacred boundaries: parishes and the making of space in the colonial Andes
Gabriela Ramos
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9. Researching the history of slavery in Colombia and Brazil
through ecclesiastical and notarial archives
Jane Landers, Pablo Gómez, José Polo Acuña and Courtney J. Campbell
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10. Convict labour in early colonial Northern Nigeria: a preliminary study
Mohammed Bashir Salau
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11. Murid Ajami sources of knowledge: the myth and the reality
Fallou Ngom
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12. Digitisation of Islamic manuscripts and periodicals in Jerusalem and Acre
Qasem Abu Harb
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PART IV. PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES
13. A charlatan’s album: cartes-de-visite from Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay (1860-1880)
Irina Podgorny
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14. Hearing images, tasting pictures: making sense of Christian
mission photography in the Lushai Hills District, Northeast India (1870-1920)
Kyle Jackson
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15. The photographs of Baluev: capturing the "socialist transformation”
of the Krasnoyarsk northern frontier, 1938-1939
David Anderson, Mikhail S. Batashev and Craig Campbell
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16. Archiving a Cameroonian photographic studio
David Zeitlyn
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PART V. SOUND ARCHIVES
17. Music for a revolution: the sound archives of Radio Télévision Guinée
Graeme Counsel
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18. Conservation of the Iranian Golha radio programmes and the heritage
of Persian classical poetry and music
Jane Lewisohn
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19. The use of sound archives for the investigation, teaching and safeguarding
of endangered languages in Russia
Tjeerd De Graaf and Victor Denisov
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Index


Qasem Abu Harb is Director of the Archive Centre of the Arab Studies Society in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Ali Ait Kaci has been working as an archaeologist at the National Archaeological Agency of Algeria since 1990. He has directed many excavations in Italy, Tunisia and Morocco. His current research focuses on Libyco-Berber epigraphy.

David G. Anderson is professor of anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has authored and edited numerous books on Siberia.

Peter Baldwin is Co-founder of the Arcadia Fund and the Global Distinguished Professor at New York Untiersity’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies. His research focuses on the development of the modern state, but also addresses the comparative history of the welfare state, social policy, and public health.

Anne K. Bang is Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and an Associate Professor of African Islamic history at the University of Bergen, Norway. She has published widely on Islam in the Indian Ocean during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Mohammed Bashir Salau is Associate Professor of history at the University of Mississippi and author of The West African Slave Plantation: A Case Study.

Mikhail Semenovich Batashev is Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Regional Museum.

Stefano Biagetti holds a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship in the Department of Humanities, Pompeu Fabra University, where he is conducting research into the resilience of central Saharan pastoralists from historical to current times.

Courtney J. Campbell is a Past & Present Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her work focuses on international cultural exchange and regional identity in the Brazilian Northeast.

Craig Campbell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. His book Agitating Images: Photography Against History in Indigenous Siberia was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2014.

Anthea Case is Principal Adviser of the Arcadia Fund and Chair of the National Trust East of England Regional Advisory Board. She was previously Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund (1995-2003). She was awarded a CBE in 2003 for services to heritage.

Graeme Counsel is a Lecturer in ethnomusicology and an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. His research specialises in the investigation of cultural policies in Africa, examining the nexus between politics and the arts and exploring the ways in which cultural policies shape cultural expression.

Victor Denisov is a linguist specialising in Finno-Ugric Languages. He is a researcher at the Udmurt Institute for History and a member of the Kastren Finno-Ugric Society, Finland.

Tjeerd de Graaf has specialised in the phonetic aspects of ethnolinguistics. After retiring from the University of Groningen, he was a visiting professor at the University of St. Petersburg and guest researcher at the Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University, Japan. He is a research fellow at the Frisian Academy and a board member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages and the Foundation for Siberian Cultures.

Savino di Lernia teaches ethnoarchaeology and African archaeology at the Faculty of Letters, Sapienza University of Rome. He is the director of the Archaeological Mission in the Sahara (Tunisia, Algeria, Libya) project. His main interests cover the transitions from hunting and foraging to food production, the development of pastoralism in Northern Africa and the management of cultural heritage in arid regions.
Michael Gervers is Professor of History at the University of Toronto and co-founder of Mäzgäbä Səəlat, an on-line corpus of over 65,000 images of Ethiopian art and culture. He publishes in the fields of medieval history, medieval art history and archaeology, and ancient textiles and ethnography.

Michael Gervers is Professor of History at the University of Toronto and co-founder of Mäzgäbä Səəlat, an on-line corpus of over 65,000 images of Ethiopian art and culture. He publishes in the fields of medieval history, medieval art history and archaeology, and ancient textiles and ethnography.

Pablo Gómez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History and the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work examines the history of medicine and corporeality in the early modern African and Iberian Atlantic worlds.

Kyle Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate and Chancellor’s International Scholar at the University of Warwick’s Centre for the History of Medicine where he is exploring the history of health and religion in colonial Northeast India.

Maja Kominko is a historian of late antiquity and Byzantium. Her research focuses on intellectual history. She held postdoctoral and academic positions at the University of York, Princeton University and the University of Oxford. She currently manages the cultural grants portfolio at the Arcadia Fund.

Jane Landers is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on Africans in the Atlantic World.

Jane Lewisohn is a graduate of Pahalavi University, Shiraz, Iran. She has been involved in research into and promotion of various aspects of Persian Studies for the last three decades. Since 2005, she has been directing the Golha Project under the auspices of the British Library and the Music Department of SOAS, University of London.

Elena Marushiakova (President of the Gypsy Lore Society) and Vesselin Popov have published widely on Roma (Gypsies) in Bulgaria, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Their publications include Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire (2000) and the first monograph on Roma in Bulgaria (1997).

Stephen Morey is Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the Centre for Research on Linguistic Diversity, La Trobe University. He is the author of two books on tribal languages in Assam, including both Tai-Kadai and Tibeto-Burman families. He is the co-Chair of the North East Indian Linguistics Society and has also written on the Aboriginal Languages of Victoria, Australia. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History and the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work examines the history of medicine and corporeality in the early modern African and Iberian Atlantic worlds.

Fallou Ngom is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Language Program at Boston University. His current research interests include Ajami literatures — records of West African languages written in a modified Arabic script — and the interactions between African languages and non-African languages.

Heleen Plaisier has written a comprehensive reference grammar of Lepcha, the language spoken by the indigenous tribal people of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong. She is now working on a Lepcha-English dictionary.

Irina Podgorny has been a Permanent Research Scholar at the CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas) since 1995. She is also Director of the Archivo Histórico y Fotográfico at the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo of the Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Buenos Aires.

José Trinidad Polo Acuña is Professor of History at the University of Cartagena and Director of the research group "Frontiers, Society and Culture in the Caribbean and Latin America”.

Lisbet Rausing is co-founder of Arcadia, holds a doctorate in history from Harvard, and has taught at Harvard University and Imperial College. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the National Library of Israel and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

Gabriela Ramos is Senior Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. She has published extensively on the history of religion in the Andes, including Death and Conversion in the Andes. Lima and Cuzco, 1532-1670 (2010), winner of the 2011 Howard F. Cline Prize for its contribution to the history of indigenous peoples in Latin America, Conference on Latin American History.

Sophie Sarin is a designer who runs a textile and clothing studio in Djenné (www.malimali.org), as well as a hotel built out of mud (www.hoteldjennedjenno.com).

Barry Supple is an economic historian. He held academic posts at Harvard Business School and at the Universities of Sussex, Oxford and Cambridge, where he was Professor of Economic History and Master of St. Catharine’s College. Subsequently, he was Director of the Leverhulme Trust (1993-2001). From 2001 to 2007 he acted as principal adviser of the Arcadia Fund.

Jacek Tomaszewski is an art historian, conservator, and Lecturer at the Polish Institute of World Art Studies and the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw. His main fields of research are the history of bookbinding, manuscript technology and book conservation.

David Zeitlyn is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He has been working in Cameroon since 1985 and has published extensively on various topics including traditional religion, sociolinguistics, kinship and history.