Film and video of the ethnomusicology collection of Laura C. Boulton, shot primarily by Dr. Boulton among traditional peoples around the world. (See inventory attached to agreement).
Collection contains supplementary material: associated texts, sound recordings, annotations, sound logs, and field notes.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or Anthropology Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
The Columbia University Center for Ethnomusicology has the Laura Boulton Collection of Traditional Music; the Harvard University Archive of World Music (Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library) houses Boulton's liturgical music collection; the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress contains wax cylinders, aluminum discs and reel-to-reel tapes of Boulton's field recordings of traditional vocal and instrumental music worldwide; and Smithsonian Folkways has the originals of recordings Boulton made for Folkways Records.
Received from the Laura Boulton Foundation in 1987.
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
London, C. Whiting Beaufort House, Strand, 1868-1875
Scope and Contents:
Photographers represented include J.C.A. Dannenberg, R.H. DeMontmorency, E. Godfrey, W.W. Hooper, H.C. McDonald, J. Mulheran, G. Richter, Shepherd & Robertson (later as Bourne & Shepherd), B. Simpson, B.W. Switzer, H.C.B. Tanner, C.C. Taylor, and J. Waterhouse.
Taken in the 1850s and 1860s, these photographs portray the people of many castes, culture groups, and occupations in India, posed individually and in groups. Indian culture groups portrayed include Bhogta, Bhoti, Chero, Dombo, Gond, Gujarati, Ho, Kachari, Kishangarh, Kota, Lepcha, Mishmi, Munda, Naga, Pahari, Paithan, Rajput, Saora, Singpho, Thakur, Tharu, and Toda. Peoples portrayed are from parts of India and surrounding areas, now in Afghanistan, Burma, Iran and Pakistan, such as Assam, Bareli, Behat, Cachar, Chittagong, Delhi, Hazara, Hisar, Kohat, Lahore, Madras, Munjpur, Mysore, Palamau, Shahabad, Shahjahanpur, Sikkim, and Sind.
Occupations illustrated include barbers, blacksmiths, carpenters, charcoal carriers, farmers, fish vendors, horse dealers, interpreters, landlords, mendicants, merchants, officials, priests, warriors, and water carriers. Activities shown include dancing and knitting. Artifacts and material culture documented include books, buildings, devotional objects, tools, and weapons such as bows, clubs, shields, guns and spears.
The collection is composed of 8 bound volumes with 470 albumen photoprints mounted alongside text. Photographs are arranged by region, with culture group and region, some also with name and occupation of subjects.
Biographical / Historical:
John Forbes Watson and John William Kaye assembled this ethnologic study collection from photographs made by British photographers in India. The collection documents the caste and culture groups of India for a British India Office multi-volume publication. A graduate of Aberdeen University in England, John Forbes Watson (1827-1892) served as an assistant surgeon in the Bombay Medical Services from 1850 to 1853. While in India, Watson began to research Indian agricultural resources. In 1858, he became reporter on the products of India for the India Office in England. A year later, he became director of the India Office's India Museum, devoted to promoting trade in the British Empire. While there, he published several monographs on Indian plants and textiles. In 1867, he was appointed keeper of the museum, and served in that capacity until he retired in 1879.
John William Kaye (1814-1876) was secretary of the India Office's Political and Secret Department.
Purchase 1990 A1990.3
Collection is open for research.
The People of India, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Purchase
Primitive India; expedition "Tortoise" 1950-1952; Africa, Middle East, India. With 80 photos. in black and white and in colour, taken by the members of the expedition, Vitold de Golish, Pierre Rambach, [and] F. Hébert-Stevens. Translated from the French by Nadine Peppard
Travels amongst the Todas, or The study of a primitive tribe in South India, their history, character, customs, religion, infanticide, polyandry, language; with outlines of the Tuda grammar. By William E. Marshall