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New funding for digitization from the British Library !

We are pleased to announced that the British Library has granted us funding for a major project (EAP 946) in the frame of its Endangered Archive Program.

The project “Representing Self and Family. Preserving Early Tamil Studio Photography” will get a two year funding in order to document and preserve Tamil studio photography, and therefore family portraiture, since its appearance in the mid-late 19th century up until the introduction of mechanised developing and printing, which radically transformed the practices and productions of studio photography.

The BL  funded an earlier pilot project (EAP 737).

The results have been published online

12 month pilot project completed!

Vasen Studio Digitization

Between July 2015 and June 2016, the EAP 737 team conducted an in-depth survey of photo studios in 14 towns throughout the state of Tamil Nadu (South India) seeking out endangered photographic archives.

As a result of this pilot project, a comprehensive survey of 100 photo studios accompanied by over 1 000 digital samples of photographic material (glass-plates negatives, film negatives and prints) have been produced.

These studio photographs are now viewable online

Illustrations of the fieldwork can be viewed here : EAP 737_Studio Survey_2016

This project was funded by the Endangered Archives Programme, hosted by the French Institute of Pondichery and coordinated by Zoe Headley & Ramesh Kumar.


Résolument inscrit dans le champ des études visuelles, le carnet S.T.A.R.S. (Studies in Tamil studio ARchives and Society/1880-1980) s’intéresse à tous les aspects liés à l’apparition, la diffusion et la consommation de la photographie de portrait en Inde du sud. En se concentrant sur l’histoire et la production photographique des studios photos et en déplaçant l’attention vers ce que nous sommes tentés de nommer la photographie subalterne (c’est-à-dire les milliers de photographes anonymes, les portraits d’individus ou de famille), le projet interdisciplinaire documenté par ce carnet de recherche propose de prendre à contre-pied la tendance jusqu’alors majoritaire dans les études photographiques indiennes, qui consiste à étudier les productions photographiques coloniales et aristocratiques. Continue reading S.T.A.R.S.