Preservation and Access: Grants to Preserve and Create Access to Humanities Collections

Period of Performance

9/1/2007 - 2/28/2010

Funding Totals

$350,000.00 (approved)
$350,000.00 (awarded)

Creating an Image Database of the Mexican and South American Ethnology Collection

FAIN: PC-50107-07

American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY 10024-5193)
Paul F. Beelitz (Project Director: July 2006 to June 2010)

The digital imaging of 25,021 ethnographic artifacts and associated data from Mexico and South America documenting over 200 ethnic groups from Amazonian, Andean Highlands, Gran Chaco, Mexican, and Tierra del Fuego culture areas.

The Anthropology Division at the American Museum of Natural History requests $350,000 from the NEH for a two-year project that will dramatically improve access to its important Mexican and South American ethnology collection, which is exceptional for its size, comprehensiveness, and level of documentation. The captured images of the 25,201 objects in the collection, and the associated data, will be made accessible via the Internet to the general public, descendant communities, and researchers. The collection had its beginning in 1890, when Carl Lumholtz conducted the AMNH's first anthropological expedition to Mexico's Sierra Madre. Between that time and the present, numerous notable anthropologists have collected for the AMNH in Amazonia, the Andes, the Gran Chaco, and Tierra del Fuego. This project is a continuation of the AMNH's overall initiative to increase access to its anthropological collections.