Fürer-Haimendorf collection is derived from the SOAS archive of Professor Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf (1909-1995) includes photographs, cine film and written materials. It reflects his fifty years of scholarship, from the 1930s through the late 1980s, and is widely recognised as the world's most comprehensive study of tribal cultures in South Asia and the Himalayas. The collection is especially valuable because it documents these cultures before the rapid changes brought with the advent of colonial and civil administration.
The physical collections from which this digital collection are drawn includes more than 21,000 photographs and 3,200 slides, as well as over 100 hours of cinefilm. In addition to visual materials, the collections include field notes, diaries, essays, conference papers and lectures.
In 1995, Nicholas Haimendorf donated his father's archive to SOAS, where it was deposited in the Archives & Special Collections. He has kindly allowed us to open the collection, through digitisation, to a world-wide audience.
Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf was born and educated in Vienna, gaining a PhD in anthropology from the University of Vienna in 1931. A grant from the Rockefeller Foundation enabled him to study at the London School of Economics, under the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. In 1936, he went to the Naga Hills in northeast India for his first fieldwork; over the next four decades, he worked extensively in south & central India, northeast India and Nepal. In 1950 he was appointed Professor of Anthropology at SOAS, where he established the Department of Anthropology. During his career, he published seventeen books, most of them ethnographies of tribal cultures. He was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1975-77) and a pioneer in the field of visual anthropology.
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