Documenting Diversity

How Anthropologists Record Human Life

Banner for Documenting Diversity

Banner for Documenting Diversity

Documenting Diversity draws on the collections of the National Anthropological Archives and Smithsonian Libraries to examine the ways anthropologists have recorded and shared their observations in the field in the past and present, through the lens of the media used in anthropological field work—paper, photography, sound, and film.

The exhibition traces the Smithsonian’s role in shaping the discipline, touches on the complex history of anthropological work, and demonstrates the continued relevance of these remarkable records of our global diversity. Created through relationships shaped by colonialism, today they are actively used by communities for cultural, political, and linguistic revitalization.

Curated by Diana E. Marsh and Joshua A. Bell
at the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives
and Human Studies Film Archives,
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History

Icons of a film reel, a camera, a notebook and a cassette tape

VISIT THE EXHIBITION
Now through July 18, 2021

National Museum of Natural History, Ground Floor
10th St. and Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20560

Collaboratively produced by the National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Libraries

collage of stamps, scanned book images and sheet music

collage of stamps, scanned book images and sheet music

Documenting Diversity is made possible through the generous support of:

Robert C. and Cary T. Roberts
Ruth O. Selig
Jacqueline Vossler

L to R: Scrapbook of excavations in Chiapas, Mexico, Matthew and Marion Stirling, 1944; Notebook from field expedition to Honduras, William Duncan Strong, 1933; Field notes from U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado, William Henry Holmes, 1875; Composition book (1900), and sheet music for Omaha song (n.d.), Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche; 16mm film strips, Cochengo Miranda, Jorge Preloran, 1974

L to R: Scrapbook of excavations in Chiapas, Mexico, Matthew and Marion Stirling, 1944; Notebook from field expedition to Honduras, William Duncan Strong, 1933; Sheet music for Omaha song (n.d.), Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche; 16mm film strips, Cochengo Miranda, Jorge Preloran, 1974