The Marshall Albums Mapin Publishing

The Marshall Albums

Photography and Archaeology
Sudeshna Guha
Contributions by Sudeshna Guha, Michael S. Dodson, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Christopher Pinney, Robert Harding, B.D. Chattopadhyaya (Preface)

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Drawing mainly on the photographic albums in the personal collection of Sir John Marshall, one of the most reputed British archaeologist of India and the longest serving Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India, this volume explores some of the civilisational histories of ‘ancient India’ that were founded through archaeological fi eldwork and its photography. While maintaining focus on Marshall’s contributions to South Asian archaeology, it encourages a critical review of archaeology’s emergence as an authoritative science in the writing of India’s history, and the agency of photographs in establishing parameters of archaeological field research. By engaging with the physicality of scopic and evidential regimes the contributors also showcase the diverse manifestations, and inevitable uses, of archaeological practices within British India.

The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts is a registered charitable trust based in New Delhi. It is primarily dedicated to the exploration and study of the cultural history of India.

Over the last 30 years, Ebrahim Alkazi, the Foundation’s Chairman, has amassed a private collection of photographs known as Th e Alkazi Collection of Photography (, an archive of nineteenth- and earlytwentieth century photographic prints from South and South-East Asia, amounting to over 90,000 images.The core of the Collection comprises works in the form of photographic albums, single prints, paper negatives and glass plate negatives from India, Burma, Ceylon, Nepal, Afghanistan and Tibet. Almost every region with a history touched by the British Raj is represented. Th ese vintage prints document sociopolitical life in the subcontinent through the linked fi elds of history, architecture, anthropology, topography and archaeology, beginning from the 1840s and leading up to the rise of modern India and the Independence Movement of 1947.

The photographic archive has been digitally catalogued and documented, and is accessed by researchers, curators, historians and teams of scholars. Th e material is now being made available to a larger academic community and the general public through a series of publications that are accompanied by exhibitions and seminars. Each volume, under the editorship of a specialist in the fi eld, examines a particular region or topic represented in the archive, encouraging cross-disciplinary approaches and interpretations.

Sudeshna Guha is Affi liate Lecturer in South Asian History at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in Cambridge (U.K.). She holds a Ph.D in archaeology from Deccan College, Pune, and has curated the photographic collections of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Cambridge) for over eight years. She researches on notions of historical evidence through histories of archaeology and photography.

Michael Dodson is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Tapati Guha-Th akurta is Professor of History at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata.

Christopher Pinney is Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London.

Robert Harding is Senior Research Fellow for ‘Civilisations In Contact’ research project, Cambridge.

B.D. Chattopadhyaya is retired Professor of of History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

• Preface

• Acknowledgements


• Archaeology, Photography, Histories

• CHAPTER 1: Orientalism and Archaeology: Writing the History of South Asia, 1600–1860

• CHAPTER 2: 94 Th e Many Lives of the Sanchi Stupa in Colonial India

• CHAPTER 3: 136 Photographs in Sir John Marshall’s Archaeology

• CHAPTER 4: 178 ‘Buddhist’ Photography

• CHAPTER 5: 202 Cunningham, Marshall and the Monks: An Early Historic City as a Buddhist Landscape

• Appendix A: John Marshall and the Photographic Collections

• Appendix B: Seminal Excavations Undertaken during: Marshall’s Directorship of the Archaeological Survey of India

• Appendix C: Bibliography

• Catalogue of Photographs:

• The Marshall Albums

• Index
ISBN 9788189995324
Pages 288
Number of photographs 119 sepia photographs, 10 drawings
Size 9.45 x 10.8" (240 x 274 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2010
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin in association with The Alkazi Collection of Photography
Rights Available World rights

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