Museum institutions all over the western world have conserved the visual history of tribal communities in the form of photographs collected by colonial administrators and anthropologists throughout the twentieth century. The University of Cambridge, School of Oriental and African Studies, The City Museum of Leipzig, The Berlin Ethnographic Museums are some of the institutes with a sizable holding of the tribal visual history. The Adivasi Academy has in its collection nearly 40,000 photographs—well documented—of tribals and by tribals.
The Academy has undertaken to bring all these collections together in the digital medium and to make the collection an open-source collection so that further deposits by tribals can be received in it and conserved properly. The Tribal Research Institutes in India too have been collecting and keeping photo documents during the post independence period. Their valuable collection will form part of the visual archives. This would be one clearly visible and a significant way of ‘empowering’ the tribal communities.
The website can be visited at : www.bhashaarchival.org