Explore 150 years of anthropology research straight from the source
The Wiley Digital Archives: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland collection is a rich repository of primary sources, containing the key inputs, research data, and outputs of many institute members, and large collections of photographs, drawings, and other kinds of fieldwork representing the efforts, ambitions, and successes of the RAI. Wiley has digitized this material for the first time, after taking care to catalog and conserve many of these items.
The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) was founded in 1871, with roots dating back to 1837. Today, it is the world’s longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology, in its broadest and most inclusive sense. As such, it has amassed more than one million pieces of research, including personal papers, fieldwork and photographs, as well as uncatalogued material, all now available through this collection. Some of its more unique content include an ethnographic library dating back to the 1860’s, Arthur Bernard Deacon’s personal papers, and fieldwork by British administrator and anthropologist Edward Horace Man.
Aborigines' Protection Society
An international human rights organisation, founded in 1837 to ensure the health and well-being and the sovereign, legal and religious rights of the indigenous peoples while also promoting the civilization of the indigenous people who were subjected under colonial powers. Members of the APS went on to work with the Royal Anthropological Institute, and many of their papers are including in the Archive.
Arthur Bernard Deacon
A social anthropologist who carried out fieldwork on the islands of Malekula and Ambrym in what is now Vanuatu. The Deacon collection held by the RAI and represented here was also accepted into UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program. This collection captures that which posthumous secondary research cannot—the unmediated firsthand account of a vanishing culture and the methods by which a promising twentieth-century anthropologist might go about achieving his goals.
Ethnographic Photography Library
The RAI’s collection of ethnographic photographs extends on a long history of creating and collecting drawings and sketches as part of the field work and information capturing efforts of RAI members. Numbering over 125,000 photos, the work also shows the evolution of photography in the practice in anthropology, as well as a history of the science of photography, itself.
- Colonial History
- Cultural Studies
- Ethnic Studies
- Gender Studies
- Area Studies: African, East Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Caribbean, South
Asian, Indian, Pakistani & Pacific
& Much More
- Administrative Records
- Gray Literature
- Personal Papers
& Various Ephemera
Look Inside the Archive
A sample of the type of materials that can be found in the archive collection.