Endangered Archives


EAP016: Digitising the photographic archive of southern Siberian indigenous peoples

The objective is to archive, digitise, and distribute a collection of approximately two thousand late 19th and early 20th century glass-plate negatives depicting indigenous peoples of the Siberian Arctic and Subarctic. This project builds upon previous pilot work in the region, and benefits from parallel funding from other international research foundations and councils.

The collections document the lives of several non-European nations at a date before their lives were transformed by Soviet collectivization. These early images are becoming increasingly important for Siberian indigenous peoples as they revitalise their cultures and defend their land rights in the face of post-Soviet oil development. The images also represent one of the best international collections representing circumpolar hunting peoples and are of great value to the international scholarly community.

The negatives are housed in several public and local collections in Southern Siberia, but primarily the Krasnoiarsk Regional Museum. The collections face an imminent threat of degradation due to the poor storage conditions in the recent past. These materials are historically important, are in a fragile state, but can now be safely stored and copied if attention is directed to them quickly.

The Krasnoiarsk Regional Museum has recently been provided with a new climate controlled store room and this project will enable local workers to move the material to the new store and for the material to be catalogued and digitised. Additional funding has also been secured from the Norwegian and Canadian Research Councils.


EAP016/3: Selection of Ethographic Images from the Irkutskoi Okruzhnoi Kraevedcheskii Muzei (Archives of the Irkutsk Regional Museum) [1900-c1935]

"This fonds consists of digitised copies of glass plate photographs held by the Irkutskoi Okruzhnoi Kraevedcheskii Muzei (Archive of the Irkutsk Regional Museum), Russia. The selection (811 images) here represents that part of the archives' collections which concern documentary photographs of indigenous peoples and cultures in Siberia. The original photographs were taken between 1900 and c1935."

EAP016/3/1: Selection of Ethographic Images from the Irkutskoi Okruzhnoi Kraevedcheskii Muzei (Archives of the Irkutsk Regional Museum) [1900-c1935]

Extent: 811 TIFF images
Level: File
Scope and Content: "This file contains 811 digitised copies of glass plates depicting indigenous Siberian peoples and cultures. Around 200-250 photographs were taken by the photographers Khoroshikh and Poltoradnev during expeditions to the north of Irkutsk province and the upper reaches of the Nizhnaia Tunguska river, between 1925 and 1935. These photographs document Evenki people and customs. The remainder of the collection dates from roughly 1900 to 1930, and documents Western and Eastern Buriats, Lamaists, and occassionally Tofalary peoples. The images here feature the following subjects: architecture, seasonal campsites, soviet villages, subsistence farming, shamanic ritual sculpture, Lamaist rituals, boat building, reindeer herding, bark containers, grave sites, hunting, fishing, children, musical performances, Chums, icons, nurseries, national dress, Buriat, Tarasun stills."
Collector Irkutskoi Okruzhnoi Kraevedcheskii Muzei, fl 20th Century-
Collector Archives of the Irkutsk Regional Museum, fl 20th Century-
Language(s) Not applicable
Script(s) Not applicable
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