Photographic portfolios made by Prince Roland Bonaparte in his "Collection Anthropologique" group. The bulk of the collection consists of individual portraits of "Peaux-Rouges" (Omaha Indians), "Kalmouks" (Kalmyks), "Hindous" (Hindus), "Hottentots" (Khoikhoi), Somalis, "Atchinois" (Acehnese), and Surinamese. There are also some images of clothing, dwellings and animals, including camels and horses.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection is comprised of nine photographic albums (two are duplicates) of Omaha, Chinese, Kalmyk, Hindu, Hottentot, Somali and Surinamese people that were assembled by Prince Roland Bonaparte and published in a series of albums entitled the "Collection Anthropologique du Prince Roland Bonaparte". Many of the photos were undertaken at various international exhibitions of the late nineteenth century: the Kalmyk and Omaha photographs were executed in Paris at the Jardin d'Acclimatation (1884) and the Hindu, Somali, Surinamese and Chinese photographs were taken during the 1883 Colonial Exposition in Amsterdam.
All of the albums, except for the volume on Surinamese peoples, is comprised of albumen prints. The Surinamese album includes photographs, collotypes, imprints, and text. Each album, except for those of the Hottentot and Surinamese people, is accompanied by an inventory produced by Bonaparte that lists the name, age, job and family lineage of each person.
Within each series the original order was maintained. The photographs are organized by culture groups into seven series:
Series 1: Omahas
Series 2: Chinese
Series 3: Kalmyks
Series 4: Hindus
Series 5: Khoikhoi
Series 6: Somalis
Series 7: Surinamese
Prince Roland Bonaparte (1858-1924) was the grandson of Lucien, the second brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. Forbidden by law to pursue the military career he desired, he turned to geography and other sciences and received anthropological training from Paul Broca. Starting around 1882, he began to create and distribute albums organized by culture group as part of an "anthropological collection of human diversity." He studied the Lapp people in Finland in 1884 and then traveled to Mexico, Canada and, in 1887, the United States to study American Indians. The photograph project ended in the mid-1890s. He also published on other topics including the history of the Dutch colonial empire and glaciers of the French and Swiss Alps.
Bonaparte married Marie Blanc (1859-1882) in 1880 and had a daughter, Princess Marie Bonaparte, in 1882. He served as president of both the Société de géographie (1910-1924) and the Société française de photographie (1920-1922).
The Muséum national d'histoire naturelle and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, division of the Collections of Maps and Plans, have related photographs and manuscript materials.
Photographs made during the 1901 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Eclipse Expedition to Sumatra; some were possibly made in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). They include images of people, houses and other buildings, animals, boats, roads, villages, agriculture (including terracing), rickshaws, and plants. Also included are an image of animal hides drying on frames and two portraits of Hosmer, circa 1915 and 1930.
George Leonard Hosmer (1874-1935) was a professor in the Civil Engineering Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught courses in Astronomy, Navigation, and Geodesy from the time of his graduation from MIT in 1897 until his death. Taking part in MIT's expedition to Sumatra to see the eclipse on May 18, 1901, he made pendulum observations and wrote "Report on the Changes in Declination of the Magnetic Needle during the Eclipse" for the Technology Quarterly and Proceedings of the Society of Arts, Volume 15, 1902.