Published 20 May 2020; resource list last updated 8 June 2020.
This page has been assembled by HAR Editors to gather useful tools and resources for the history of anthropology community as more of its research, teaching, and public engagement rely on online modes of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a physically-dispersed editorial collective of mostly early career scholars working in virtual environments to produce high-quality, born-digital content, we recognize the value of online scholarly technologies and practices as we simultaneously witness firsthand the great new pressures facing academic, research, and cultural institutions around us.
This is a particularly trying and tenuous moment for advanced graduate students and contingent faculty and staff as universities around the world cut jobs and programs in response to financial distress, and for scholars working in museums and other publicly-oriented institutions that rely on revenue from hosting people in shared spaces. In many cases, those who depend upon travel for archival and ethnographic research find themselves unable to continue work and community-based collaborations. As a general policy, HAR strongly supports those interventions that universities and other institutions can make to protect scholarly communities: extension of graduate student funding and time to graduation; the provision of emergency funding; the flexibilization of restrictions on faculty funding to allow for additional graduate student and PTL support; reductions in pay for highly remunerated administrators; and the extension and expansion of open access policies for the duration of the pandemic.
We hope this page will serve HAR readers not only as individuals getting their bearings in new digital worlds, but also as communities of researchers and educators mobilizing to secure professional livelihoods and the future of humanistic knowledge. We further note that this is an evolving resource and we invite readers to recommend additions (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Updates to this page will be shared via Announcements.
1. Digitized Research Collections in HoA
These collections are available for remote research and most of them are freely accessible. Those that are not are marked PW (paywall), in which case you must pay or belong to an institution that pays for them.
American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology Collections. 250,000+ ethnographic and archaeological objects digitally imaged and searchable through the Anthropology Collections Database.
AnthroHub, Anthropology Library, University of California, Berkeley. Works (books, journals, images, sound recordings, etc.) produced by UC Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology (1896-present). UC-owned material is completely free.
Anthropology Photographic Archive, University of Auckland Library. ~60,000 images of anthropological research in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from 1950 to 2000. Some image restrictions but most are freely available.
Anthropology Resource Library, Alexander Street [PW]. Ethnographic primary sources spread across four collections (Anthropological Fieldwork Online; Anthropology Online; Ethnographic Video Online Series; Ethnographic Sound Archives Online) especially useful for teaching in HoA.
APS Digital Library, American Philosophical Society. Special strength in ethnographic/fieldwork audio recordings in addition to text, image, and video.
California Academy of Sciences Anthropology Collection. 16,000+ objects, all available for virtual viewing via their searchable online database.
Calisphere: a gateway to digital collections held by institutions across the US state of California. HoA-relevant collections abound. See for example the Ethnographic Photographs of California Indian and Sonora Indian Subjects by Alfred L. Kroeber, 1901-1930 (held by UC Berkeley’s Phoebe A. Hurst Museum of Anthropology) and the Roy Rappaport Photographs (held by UC San Diego’s Special Collections & Archives).
Digital Himalaya. Digitized historical and contemporary multimedia anthropological information from the Himalayan region.
Ethnographic Maps of the 19th Century, University of Chicago Library. Small but fully accessible/downloadable collection of ethnographic maps from around the world.
Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis (EVIA) Digital Archive Project. “A preservation and access system for ethnographic field video annotated by scholars and made available to educators and researchers online.”
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings, Adam Matthew Digital [PW]. Collaboration with the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive to digitize “thousands of audio field recordings and interviews, educational recordings, film footage, field notebooks, slides, correspondence and ephemera.” Note that highlights from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive are streaming for free on the Internet Archive here.
Library of Congress Digital Collections: Find HoA-relevant research collections like the Alan Lomax Collection (American Folklife Center) and Pioneering the Upper Midwest (General Collections and Rare Book and Special Collections).
Manuscripts on Cultural Anthropology, 1931-1992, University of Chicago Library. 204 manuscripts documenting Mesoamerican languages, digitized from the larger collection Microfilm Collection of Manuscripts on Cultural Anthropology (MCMCA) which “was a pioneer effort to preserve and disseminate a body of valuable scholarly material that is normally unpublished.”
Nuer Field Notes Project, Indiana University Libraries African Studies Collection. Linguistics field notes recorded by Eleanor Vandevort, a missionary in the South Sudan between 1949 and 1963.
Peabody Museum Collections Online, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Anyone can search/browse the ~700,000 database records, plus researchers can request greater access to the database.
Penn Museum Online Collections, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Museum objects and archival video, e.g. ethnographic expedition film footage from the Tikal Expedition Collection.
Quai Branly Museum (Musée du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac). Museum collections (inherited from the Musée de l’Homme and the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie) are fully searchable online; limited digitization of text/audio but objects have been imaged.
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Collection, Wiley Digital Archives [PW]
Smithsonian Libraries’ Digital Collections. 35,000+ books/manuscripts; digital collections on (among many other things) World’s Fairs, the Arctic Studies Center, and Early Publications in American Indian Languages.
SOAS Digital Collections, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Archives, manuscripts, and much more, e.g. the J. P. Mills Collection; see especially the Anthropology Collection.
University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology Image Database. 30,000+ images (more than half openly available) of “original excavations, personal collecting, reference books and magazines, as well as images of artifacts within the Museum’s collections.”
W. E. B. Du Bois Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst. All original materials in the Du Bois Papers have been digitized and are available online.
Wellcome Collection’s digitized materials. Free access to digitized books, photos, ephemera, and other library materials and museum objects with special strength in the history of medical anthropology.
2. HoA Scholarly Literature: Open Access (OA) & Temporary Free Access (TFA)
Berghahn Books (TFA and OA). An important publisher of anthropology and HoA titles, Berghahn is offering free access to all of its journals through 30 June (see Berghahn Journals; see also our post describing sample HoA content). Berghahn also has several OA initiatives such as the subscribe-to-open pilot project Berghahn Open Anthro. See Berghahn’s COVID-19 Update page for more information on OA and TFA content.
BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology (OA). A multilingual open access project “dedicated to the history of anthropology in the broadest sense, including ethnography, ethnology, folklore studies and related disciplines.” For more introduction see our post “Announcing BEROSE.”
Open Research Library (ORL) by Knowledge Unlatched (KU). Launched in 2020, ORL “is planned to include all Open Access book content worldwide on one platform for user-friendly discovery, offering a seamless experience navigating more than 20,000 Open Access books.” The beta-version is now accessible; find HoA and anthropology titles via search. Additional OA journal content is available through the KU Journal Collection which is particularly strong in anthropology.
Project MUSE (TFA and OA). An online database of academic journals and electronic books in the humanities and social sciences, Project MUSE is working with 80+ of its publishing partners to offer temporary free access to books and journals (currently through May or June 2020 depending on the publisher; see Project MUSE’s COVID-19 page for more detailed information). This is on top of its regular open access initiatives (browsable here with several HoA titles). For the TFA materials, HoA-relevant titles abound and below are just a few examples of what you can find. To search the whole collection of TFA and OA titles, we recommend using the general Project MUSE search feature and filtering results to “Only content I have access to.”
Sample HoA-related journal titles: American Studies from the Mid-American Studies Association through 30 June; Bulletin of the History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University Press through 31 May; Ethnohistory from Duke University Press through 30 June; Histories of Anthropology Annual from the University of Nebraska Press through 31 May.
Sample HoA-related book titles: Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries by Margaret T. Hogden (2011) from the University of Pennsylvania Press through 30 June. Human No More: Digital Subjectivities, Un-Human Subjects, and the End of Anthropology edited by Neil L. Whitehead and Michael Wesch (2012) from the University of Colorado Press through 30 June. Irregular Connections: A History of Anthropology and Sexuality by Andrew P. Lyons (2004) from the University of Nebraska Press through 31 May. Modernist Anthropology: From Fieldwork to Text by Marc Manganaro (2014) from Princeton University Press through 30 June. The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France by Camille Robcis (2013) from Cornell University Press through 30 June.
SAGE (TFA). Academic publisher offering libraries free access to select databases with promises to provide institution-wide access rapidly (through 31 July 2020; libraries can sign up here). This includes access to SAGE Knowledge (Books & Reference), which contains multiple encyclopedias of anthropology and other reference material relevant to HoA (title list available to download here).
3. Virtual HoA Museum Exhibitions
HoA institutions with online exhibit directories
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology Online Exhibit Archive and other “Hearst from Home” resources
Individual virtual exhibits in HoA
Confluences: An American Expedition to Northern Burma, 1935, Bard Graduate Center
Hats of Archaeology, Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University
Marius Barbeau: A Glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969), Canadian Museum of History
The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology, Bard Graduate Center and U’mista Cultural Centre
4. HoA-related Podcasts and Recorded Lecture Series
AnthroPod podcast, Society for Cultural Anthropology
Ask an Archaeologist live-streamed interviews by the Archaeological Research Facility and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Conversations in Anthropology podcast
Lectures on Native American Arts & Culture, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, New Mexico
New Books Network podcast channels in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, STS, and more
Speaking of Race podcast, University of Alabama
The Dirt podcast
Time to Eat the Dogs podcast
5. Networks and Tools for Doing HoA Online
H-Net. ~180 free online communities in the humanities and social sciences that share information via listservs and web projects. Active HoA-related networks include: H-Sci-Med-Tech, H-AmIndian, H-Empire, H-Material-Culture
PastPerfect Online. A tool for museums, archives, and other institutions seeking to make their collections available online that offers a “fast, affordable, secure and easy way to create a fully searchable online catalog.” Anthropology museums are among many institutions using this service; see for example the online collections of the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology at the California State University, Chico or the University of Denver’s Museum of Anthropology.
Links to other resource lists
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) COVID-19 Resources
Social Science Research Council (SSRC) COVID-19 and the Social Sciences. This compilation of essays and opportunities (including fellowships) presents content and projects from SSRC-affiliated scholars relating to disasters, pandemics, and social disruptions. The “Time Capsule for Future Social Science Researchers” presents visuals (photographs and graphics) relating to COVID-19, captioned by social science researchers, which contextualize the pandemic and provide a useful resource for reflection on the production of history and memory.