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 Original Nineteenth Century Photographic Matter
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             My ghosts are my mother's colonial past.  I see images in the photographs of nineteenth century India reflecting the very same expressions I saw in her face.  These images are our personal colonial heritage and much more, for they reveal the architectonics of imperialism, conveying the triumphal attitude of positivist science, glorifying the subjugation of the indigenous population.  Steeped in a science of hierarchy, these images often romanticize the superiority of the Europeans over their “racial inferiors.” 1

         Presently in my analytical development, the images of India document the morphological and historical representations of the Western episteme 2 tangibly exhibited.  When viewing certain types of ethnography portraiture, I am reminded of scientific photographs of animals used in medical experiments.  Silent trapped creatures adorn the framed space – does the sentience matter?  It is the poignancy felt in viewing.  Alas for contemporary French philosopher Roland Barthes who argued that most photographs are “inert” images failing to provide some deep need to satisfy memory or Proustian reverie.3

       Photography developed in Europe around the 1820s.  Louis Daguerre, who perfected the daguerreotype in 1839, attracted the attention of investors with the advertised slogan: “[the] daguerreotype is not merely an instrument which serves to draw nature ... ; [it] gives her the power to reproduce herself”.4   The process reached Calcutta as early as 1840, although the earliest extant daguerreotype plates date between 1842 and 1845.   A decade later many photographic societies formed to exhibit amateur and professional photographic works in all the major urban centers of South Asia.5  Government agencies, including the Governor-General, Lord Channing (a patron of the photographic arts), endorsed use of the new technology to record the native races and tribes, architecture, military service, and life in remote areas of the sub-continent.  Members of the colonial middle class embraced the cause of documenting their empire, and commercial photographers eager for livelihood entered the “native races” portraiture business.

         In 1858 the East India Company “recommended that the Gentlemen Cadets, who were later to go to India, should be given some instruction in photography.”6   In 1861 the Central Directorate of Archaeology was established by Lord Channing to survey monuments and significant sites.  Military men joined the ranks of amateurs, photographing the secular and the sacred, the artistic and the scientific.  Under the authority of the colonial administration, one of the most distinctive works created in the period between 1868 and 1875-- The People of India -- used the photographic works of these amateur photographers.  But we should remember that this eight volume opus on racial types was created in the aftermath of the Sepoy insurrection of 1857 and was consequently tainted by the fallout of colonial losses which resulted in the punitive pacification of the natives. People of India, then, more readily documents the colonizers’ political prowess rather than the “true” discourse anthropological science sought to reveal later in the century.7   In Photography at the Dock: Essays on Photographic History, Institutions, and Practices, Abigail Solmon-Godeau cautions against the ahistoricism of photography, for to treat the photograph as mere object d'art is to erase its economic, political and social context.8 The decontextualized photograph reduces the image to mere icon with all the trappings of symbology.  And like any symbol it can be readily manipulated and simplified, as in the case of Samuel Borne’s “aesthetic” oeuvre.  In working with the photograph, I, on the other hand, was trained to look at the medium as preserved archival artifact, and as a technically and expertly produced or manufactured commodity.  Under the tutelage of Lynn Davis, photohistorian of Hawaiian imagery, I cataloged  photographs as visual documents imbued with historical memory and aesthetic undercurrents.  Does Samuel Borne create for us the contextual memory of India in the mid-nineteenth century?  I think not.  Rather, he foregrounded a Victorian aesthetic with India as his backdrop.  The majority of Bourne’s images are of places – either natural or architectural, better to sell to the Victorian visitor.  Sites such as the Jumma Masjid in Delhi  (Borne 1354) show how people are posed and positioned to suit his sense of composition.9  Interior details of the “Emperor Shah Jahan’s Seraglio,” (Borne 1350A), though chaste in view,  visually evoke the degeneracy of the Oriental opulence.10  We examine Borne’s reflection of India – we do not examine India.  What I find lacking is sensory texture.  When I see Bourne’s beautiful, cold images of the Himalayas I see a framed landscape, man's dominion over the earth destined for a Victorian traveler's album.  Bourne’s images can be found in the photographs collected by Samuel Adelstein, a discerning and worldly visitor; exactly the type who would purchase high quality images for a souvenir photoalbum.

        Science, like art, is not devoid of the external influences of the marketplace. Examples of ethnographic photography in service to the empire abound: amelioration of the lot of the native,  gaining personal wealth, and aggrandizing imperial aims.  Two such scientific works of ethnographic photography are the studies of Andaman Islanders conducted by E.H. Man and V.M. Portman.  In 1858, the East India Company and the Crown saw the Andamans as an efficient way station on the shipping route from Southeast Asia, East Asia and Australia to India.  Added to this economic component, the Crown, after the 1857 Sepoy Insurrection, needed to secure a penal colony for the mutineers – the Andaman Islands were the ideal location for such a public project.  The British approached the problem of Andamanese hostility with prevailing colonial methods: give the natives the gift of civilization and demonstrate British technological superiority.  Both Man and Portman, charged with the administration of the British policy of subduing the rapidly dying aboriginal populous, also took interest in gathering anthropometric data and collecting material culture.  As the scholar Elizabeth Edwards’ analysis reveals, Man and Portman in their ethnological works “laid the foundations of the understanding of Andaman culture and the consequent success of British policy”; a policy of subjugation.11

         “Scientific” photography was not limited to the social sciences but developed in medical, forensic, and police investigative procedures.  A most bizarre use of the burgeoning new technology noted by anthropologist Christopher Pinney was the demand for prostitutes in 1862 Lucknow “to carry certificates with photographs detailing the presence or absence of venereal disease.”12  As the century and the technology advanced, photography played a part in the control of the inhabitants and those surveilled.  In reality, all inhabitants were under the dominion of the Empire's laws, both moral and legal.

         In ethnographic photography, women usually appear in anthropometric poses or pictured with their spouses in life's daily activities.  In commercial photography, women as subjects were depicted in private and formal family group portraiture and were rarely shown in formal portraiture as individual subjects.  Portraiture of courtesans or “nautch dancers,” women of nobility or royalty, and the household servants of high-ranking women were defined in formulaic constructs.   Conventions for women's appearance outside the household were controlled by patriarchic dictates – women were household property to be guarded against the gaze of the outside world.  In his work The Colonial Harem, Algerian writer Malek Alloula counterposes with the argument that veiled women existed in a private space where the photographer's camera could not penetrate, thus, could not hold immediate vivid sexual allure for the European with a taste for the erotic.13  Although this argument holds some validity, it is dangerous and portends of a conservatism which can subvert the rights of women who would choose to dissent.  Witness the imposed return of the veil in modern theocratic Muslim societies.  The photographer “dispossessed of his own gaze” is being eyed by the veiled one;14 his colonial gaze is castrated.

         In contradistinction to this convention, the courtesan or the “nautch dancer” lived by the grace of the public eye.15  Unless eyes openly followed the courtesan or the nautch dancer, she had no livelihood.  If we fix our eyes on the interiority of the courtesan's photograph we see she usually was modestly covered  from head to ankle in a long shirt and pajama or heavily ornamented sari, adorned with jewelry and her slipper-less feet were exhibited prominently.  Often her feet, decorated with toe rings and anklets, were exposed to the viewer.  Occasionally we see draped over the knee the spectacle of the other naked foot.  Remember, the feet in the Hindu sexual cosmology enhanced pleasure, thus becoming an eroticized body part.  I suspect for the Indian male, the image contained a coded eroticism contextualized by his culture.  As Solomon-Godeau so aptly states, though commenting on contemporary erotica, images of women are photographed “by men for the use of men.”16

        Finally, let me recount a true tale.   Sayyid Mahmud Khan of Delhi, while researching Islamic historiography at the India Office Library in London, examined the first two volumes of The People of India.  The images depicted in these initial volumes were of tribal peoples and the “lower castes,” laborers and the marginalized urban populous. Upon viewing these photographs, Sayyid Mahmud, an urbane young Muslim nobleman, found the staging of  these images which rendered the subjects in a manner that suggested their near-savagery an insult beyond bearing.  When asked by an Englishman if he was “Hindustani,” Sayyid Mahmud shouted “yes.”  In a lowered voice he stated he was “not an ‘"aborigine"’; his ancestors had come to India from a foreign country.”17 Later, Sayyid Mahmud’s father, Sayyid Ahmad Kahn, reflected that unless “Hindustanis remove this blot [Indians as naked savages] they shall never be held in honour by any civilized race.”18 Indeed the photographer-conqueror accomplished the very aim of subjugating the native's body and mind.

        The bibliographic matter which follows consists of ten annotations of monographs and catalogs, five annotations of journal articles, and a select list of journal articles on the photography of British India available at University of Hawaii at Manoa Hamilton Library.


1Celia Lury, Prosthetic Culture: Photography, memory and identity  (London: Routledge, 1998), 44-45.
2Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An archaeology of human sciences (New York: Vintage, 1970), Chapters 3 & 10.
3Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on photography  (New York: Hill & Wang, 1980, 1981),   27, 82. Conversely, for Sontag photographs cannot “themselves explain anything, are inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy.”  Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Dell Publishing, 1977), 23.
4Quoted in Sontag, 188.
5G. Thomas, History of Photography: India, 1840-1980 (S.l. : Andhra Pradesh State Akademi of Photography, 1980), 7-25.
6Thomas, 14.
7The People of India: A Series of Photographic Illustrations with Descriptive Letterpress of the Races and Tribes of Hindustan, Originally Prepared Under the Authority of the Government of India, and Reproduced by Order of the Secretary of State of India in Council, eds. John Forbes Watson and John William Kaye, 8 vols., (London: India Museum; W.H. Allen,1868-1875).  These volumes contain over four hundred and sixty albumen photoprints with text and commentary; it is available at the India Office, London.  For an insightful discussion see Christopher Pinney, Camera Indica: The social life of Indian photographs (London: University of Chicago Press, 1997),  33-45.
8Abigail Solomon-Godeau.  Photography at the dock: Essays on photographic history, institutions, and practices, (Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), Introduction and Chapter 1 (xxi-27).
9Arthur Ollman, Samuel Bourne: Images of India ([Carmel, Calif.] : Friends of Photography, 1983) 6, 8.  See page 8 for a fuller discussion of Borne’s Victorian aesthetics.
10Hawaiian Islands, China, Malay Peninsula, Burma, India, photoprints collected and compiled by Samuel Adelstein,1894, photograph album of albumen prints.  Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum PHOTOALBUM 1977.284.  The majority of the India prints in this photoalbum can be attributed to Samuel Borne; that is, his name appears etched on a number of prints, the numeric series are consistent, and the plate labels are inscribed in the same handwriting.  It must be noted here that the prints Adelstein acquired are from collodion glass plates taken by Bourne between 1863 to 1869, his six-year sojourn in India.  See annotations.
11Elizabeth Edwards, “Science visualized: E.H. Man in the Andaman Islands” 108, 120 and Christopher Pinney, “The parallel histories of anthropology and photography,” 81 in Anthropology and Photography, 1860-1920.  Edited by Elizabeth Edwards.  (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992). John Falconer, “Photography in Nineteenth-Century India” in The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947.  General Editor C.A. Bayly, 275. Also see exhibit notes by C.A. Bayly catalog, 283-287.
12Pinney, 48.
13Malek Alloula, The Colonial Harem (Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1986), 7-15.
14Alloula, 14.
15G. Thomas, “Indian courtesans in cartes-de-visite,” History of Photography, 8 no. 2 (1984) : 83.
16Solomon-Godeau, 220
17Pinney, 44-45.
18Ibid., 45.



1.  Bayly, C.A. ed., The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947.  London : National Portrait Gallery, 1990.     [ASIA DS436 .R25 1990]

Catalog of exhibit at London's National Portrait Gallery of the same name.  Beautifully designed and executed; the illustrative matter can stand on its own merit, they are so well reproduced.  The essays by prominent scholars of Indian history make this an invaluable visual and textual resource.  Historical and critical studies begin in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and continue until Indian independence in 1947.  Two essays of particular importance found in Section III “Colonial anthropology in the ‘Laboratory of Mankind’” by Christopher Pinney and “Photography in nineteenth-century India” by John Falconer,” provide introductory but critical review of photography in this period.  Labels for exhibited matter penned by C.A. Bayly contain a rich and clear understanding of Indian culture (art) and social processes.  There is a list of lenders, a glossary of Indian terms, a bibliography (421-427) and an index by exhibited matter.
2.  Edward, Elizabeth, ed., Anthropology and Photography, 1860-1920.  New Haven : Yale University Press, 1992.    [GN347 .A59 1992]
Examines photograph collections of the Royal Anthropological Institute, London. Included are essays relevant to the topic of British ethnographic photography in India.  Some theoretical constructs are discussed in Elizabeth Edwards “Introduction,” and Christopher Pinney’s “The parallel histories of anthropology and photography.”  Essays that specifically address the issues of British anthropological photography are Elizabeth Edwards “Science visualized: E.H. Man in the Andaman Islands;” H.L. Seneviratne’s “The fading of appearances: anthropological observations on a nineteenth-century photograph;” Christopher Pinney’s “Underneath the banyan tree: William Crooke and photographic depictions of caste;” and Nicholas J. Bradford’s “Who’s pose is this? A photo-ethnographic conundrum from South India.”  A work of importance that addresses critical issues in the field and stimulates the necessity for further research.  Useful appendix on photographic history and technique.  Each essay, at the end, provides notes and references.  Photographic matter is well reproduced.
3.  Gutman, Judith Mara, Through Indian Eyes.  New York: Oxford University Press and International Center of Photography, 1982.    [TR103 .G87]
Nineteenth and twentieth century indigenous photographers contrasted and compared with European counterparts. One of the seminal studies on Indian photography, some of it has been superceded by more recent scholarship.  Significance of Raja [Lala] Deen Dayal & Sons examined.  Useful list of Indian photographers by city or area included.  Bibliography categorized by type and format of materials (pages189-194).
4.  Ollman, Arthur.  Samuel Bourne: Images of India.  [Carmel, Calif.] : Friends of Photography, 1983.    [ASIA DS413 O45 1983]
Monograph describing Samuel Bourne’s brief but prolific sojourn to the Sub-continent. Explores Bourne’s Victorian aesthetics, his purported transcendence of colonial attitudes toward the natives and his business acumen in the period 1863-1870.  Insightful, beautifully written; book design tastefully crafted and executed with twenty-five photographic plates that convey range of tonality and texture.
5.  Pinney, Christopher. Camera Indica: The social life of Indian photographs.  Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1997.    [ASIA GN635 .I4 P49 1997]
Begins analysis with modern Indian photography, then retraces late 18th and early nineteenth popular and scholarly art works produced by and for the colonial administration; an administration obsessed with the surrounding society's lack of fidelity to scientific methodology. Pinney examines the colossal eight-volume work the People of India commissioned in 1861 and “published” 1868-1875.  Pinney also examines current photographic practices in today's India.  Includes select bibliography (page 230) list of illustrations (pages 231-235).
6. Desmond, Ray, Victorian India in Focus: A selection of early photographs from the collection in the India Office Library and Records.  London : Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1982.    [ASIA DS413 .D43 1982]
Mostly illustrative in content.  Mr. Desmond, associated with the India Office Library, has familiarity with the photography collections.  Not a critical analysis of photography in India but demonstrates an intimate knowledge of Victorian image making.  Sepia toned reproductions  do not convey depth and tonal range evident in other texts.  No reference materials provided.
7.  Sahai, Yaduendra.  Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II of Jaipur, the Photographer Prince.  Jaipur : Dr. Durga Sahai Foundation, 1996.    [ASIA TR625 .S24 1996]
Vivid recounting of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II’s avocational photography.  Delightful images, though poorly reproduced, of the luxury, pomp, opulence and obsessions of the idle “rulers.” Of particular curiosity are the Maharaja's concubines; the women – from servant to Maharani - are never eroticized, rather they appear poised, posed, and captivatingly dignified.
8.  Thomas G., History of Photography in India 1840 – 1980. n.p. : Andhra Pradesh State Akademi of Photography.  1981.     [ASIA TR103 .T46 1981]
Concise, well documented history of Indian photography including four historic phases, analyzed by categories, of photographic development from British introduction of the process in 1842 to Federation of Indian Photographers, 1980.  Dr. Thomas lists amateur and commercial photographers in urban and rural areas. Includes germane photographic illustrations but mediocre photographic quality. Also contains an invaluable directory of original photographs in published or bound form with location information (see pages 65-82).
9.  Worswick, Clark, and Ainslie Embree, The Last Empire: Photography in British India, 1856-1911.  With a preface by Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  Millerton, N.Y. : Aperture, 1976.     [ƒ DS497 .L28 1976]
Worswick’s concisely comprehensive historical essay of photography in British India combined with Embree’s critical commentary on the Raj comprises this predominantly illustrated text. Accurately credited photographic reproductions of satisfactory quality.  Provides sources of photograph collections along with manuscript accounts available in bibliography (pages [148-149]).
10.  Worswick, Clark ed., Princely India: Photographs by Raja Deen Dayal, 1884-1910.  With a forward by John Kenneth Galbraith.  New York: Pennwick Publishing, 1980. [ASIA DS479.1 .K57 D38 1980]
Short study, mostly illustrated, of the career of Raja Lala Deen Dayal, court photographer of Sir Mahbub Ali Khan, Nizam of Hyderabad.  Worswick’s introductory essay relates the history, pageant and household activities of the Nizam’s court including the ceremonial bestowal of the title Raja to Lala Deen Dayal.  An examination of status and immense wealth of the Nizam leaves the reader astounded; the thrice-weekly durbars, the eight hundred Arabian stallions, one thousand member household, the tiger and animal hunts all portray the Nizam’s seeming power but actual impotence as warrior-potentate.  As the photographer artist of the court, Deen Dayal captured and recorded all the splendor in the Nizam’s decadent state.  Well produced, clear reproductions.  The text contains an appendix of photographic albums available from the photographer in 1895 and a bibliography (page 151).

1.  DeNeve, Rose.  “Tourism and the imperial gaze.”  Seminar [Bombay] 453 (1997) 21-24.    [ASIA DS401 .S365]

Discussed images of India from about 1600 to the present.  Examines the theme  which ran throughout British art of India: a virtual stopping of time, an unchanged civilization rendered ineffectual and undeveloped.  Describes two categories of paintings and drawings, landscapes and portraits.  The “picturesque” or romanticized images of India and Indians aided in the popularization of India as an exotic destination for the English middle classes.  In the middle years of the nineteenth-century with the advent of the new technology the British still continued to produce “picturesque” images of the Sub-continent.  The imperial gaze marched forward but with the very same aims – the economic and political control of the teeming populous.  Well conveyed, without wordy or convoluted excesses often found in critical analysis of aesthetic or anthropological subjects.  No illustrations.  For ease of the reader notes provided at end of each column.
2.   Dewan, Janet “Delineating Antiquities and Remarkable Tribes: Photography for the Bombay and Madras Governments, 1855-70.”  History of Photography 16, no. 4 (1992): 302-17.    [f TR15 H57]
Documentation of temple architecture, monuments and ethnographic studies by amateur and official photographers commissioned by the Bombay and Madras governments.  In 1870 authority transferred to Archaeological Survey of India ending Madras and Bombay government responsibility.  Mentions numerous early photographers.  Well documented with quality photographic reproductions.
3.  Lifson, Ben, “Beato in Lucknow.” Artforum 26 (1988) 98-103.    [N1 .A75]
Felice Beato, a Corfiote commercial photographer, arrived in Lucknow too late to record the Sepoy uprising (1857-1858).  Records the aftermath, specifically the architectural wasteland of Lucknow. Beato creates powerful images, like stage sets of ghost towns, but with palatial splendors crumbling and human bodies decomposing.  Textual descriptions of the reproductions are excellent, the reproductions in themselves lack depth and clarity.
4.  Losty, J.P.,  “Clarence Comyn Taylor (1830-79): The first photographer in Udaipur and Nepal.” History of Photography 16, no. 4 (1992): 318-335.    [f TR15 H57]
 Traces photographic career of amateur photographer Clarence C. Taylor first in Udaipur and then in Nepal.  Of particular importance are his photographs contained in an album acquired by the India Office of the three city-principalities of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.  According to Losty, these may be some of the first meritorious photographs of the “castes” (i.e. tribes) and important architectural and landscape studies of Nepal.  Mentioned are the dictatorial machinations of the anti-Europeanist premier Maharaja Jang Bahadur, who controlled much of the activities at the court and the mentally deficient King of Nepal, Surendra Bikram Shah.  Details development of Taylor as a photographer of mediocre abilities to one who improved his “artistic” techniques.  This is by far a descriptive history rather than a critical study of Taylor as photographer in the service of the Resident at Kathmandu.  Includes notes (pages 334-335).
5.  Desmond, R[ay], “19th century Indian photographers in India.”  History of Photography 1 no. 4 (1977) : 313-317.    [f TR15 H57]
 Although this may be an old work, it is still considered by many in this field to be seminal.   Desmond is considered an authority on British photography in India, specifically at the India Office and Library.  The article is not analytical; rather it is an account of Indians practicing the photographic technique. Mentions some of the following indigenous photographers and photographers establishments – Dr. Narayen Dajee of the Photographic Society of Bombay; Mr. Nasserwanjee Ardaseer, Messrs. Merwanjee Bomanjee & Co. of Bombay and the famed rebel-photographer Ahmud Ali Khan of Lucknow, a leader in the Sepoy Insurrection.  In the latter half of the nineteenth century photographers such as Lala Deen Dayal (spelled Din Dyal by Desmond), P.C. Mukherji, and Hurrichand Chintamon are among a few noted by Desmond.  Notes are provided (page 317).


1.  Frith, Francis, [Untitled: Racial Types of Africa, Asia and Pacific], photograph album of albumen prints.    [BPBM ALBUM 1975.231.02]

 Contains five albumen prints ethnographic in content, embossed “Frith’s Series” and mounted on pages of a cartes-de-visite photographic album. Note that Frith never went to India but collected photographs used by his firm to produce albums such as his Frith’s India (ca. 1870). Two prominent people in this series of images is the “Begum of Bhopol and daughter (Rajpoots)” which depicts the begum and her purported daughter seated on lavish tapestry rugs with cushioned footstools. The quality of the prints is fair.
2.  Hawaiian Islands, China, Malay Peninsula, Burma, India, collected and compiled by Samuel Adelstein, 1894, photograph album of albumen prints.    [BPBM ALBUM 1977.284]
A valuable resource of Samuel Bourne albumen prints produced long after the photographer had left India and sold his share of the business. The album typifies a Victorian traveler's collection of well-made pictures; it includes photographs purchased from commercial photographers in each of the places Adelstein journeyed. Note that the prints of India which Adelstein acquired in 1894 were from collodian plates taken by Bourne between 1863 to 1869, his seven-year sojourn in India.  Detail is so much more vivid with an original print, although this set of prints acquired by Adelstein could have been more carefully executed.  The Adelstein album also contains prints by other photographers, though the preponderance of the India material was shot by Bourne.  The other fascinating group of images which relate to India are small, 3.5 x 2.5 inches, depicting activities in the life of ordinary Indians in an ethnographic context.  These images may have been created by an itinerant photographer for they lack an urban studio polish.
3.  Portman, M.V., The Andamanese, [photograph album of platinotype prints], A.W.F.  Fuller Collection.    [BPBM ALBUM 1964.280.03]
 Eighty platinotype prints of Andamanese taken by M.V. Portman circa 1893 when he was charged with the Andamanese Homes at Port Blair.  Depicts people posed in stylized ethnographic posture performing a task such as carving bows; material objects of the Andamanese; and some “spontaneous” images of Andamanese at play on a beach.  This album clearly delineates the aim of imperial anthropology as the premier scientific method with aesthetic undertones in terms of placement of things and people.  Unfortunately, we do not have many of Portman’s anthropometric exposures printed in this album.  The platinum prints show exquisite detail, especially in the racial type portraits of men and women.

1.  Khan, Omar. (1995)., [Online].  Available:  [1999, April 1].

Commercial site partially devoted to media from the Raj period and  provides images mostly from the late 19th C. to about 1919 with lithographs and engravings dating from 1850s; mostly from 19th century newspapers such as Harper’s Weekly. A bazaar was introduced in October 1998. Contains links to various archaeological and visual resources. Clicking a place on the map of India links the user to nineteenth-century photographs of that place, if images are available.  This is a clever tool, since place names noted on photograph labels often do not give the user a  sense of geographic proximity.  Mostly works of commercial photographers images are digitized.
2.  The Schankman Image Server at George Eastman House: Still Photography Finding Aids. (1998). English Amateur Photographic Association (19th century digitized photographs), [Online]. Available:  [1999, May 12].
 A professionally produced site containing approximately a hundred and fifty digitized images, of which about a dozen are of India.  Images by both amateur and professional photographers can be accessed.  Of course, as we well know, the amateur captures the uncommon vision, often more “spontaneous” or at least less posed.  A very useful and well designed sight.
3.  University of Minnesota Libraries.  (1998).  Armchair travel in India c 1900: the stereoscopic experience.  [Online].  Available:  [1999, April 29]
 Not fully examined, but the initial impression is one of presentation-description that is not analytical or interpretive.  The original Underwood & Underwood Publishers and Stereo Travel Company labels provide some contextual basis of the European and American views of India at the turn of the century.  Contains one hundred and three images searchable by cities, by broad topic, keyword searchable if captions are known or by displaying the entire database.  It may be that some of these images are older before the turn of the century but this will need further examination – for example in Hawaiian stereoscopes, published by Underwood & Underwood some of the images were photographed circa 1860’s.  We come again to the interpretation of changeless and timeless exotic society of the European traveler


© N. Sachdeva