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Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI 48824-3407)
Candace Keller-Claytor (Project Director: July 2013 to September 2017)
MSU Archive of Malian Photography

The cataloging and digitization of 100,000 prints and negatives from the archives of five Malian professional photographers who have been active from the 1940s to the present. These works document traditional cultural and religious practices, the history of dress, gender, and status, and colonialism and modernization in southern Mali.

The MSU Archive of Malian Photography will digitize, catalog, preserve, and render freely accessible to a worldwide audience 100,000 rare images from the original archives of five professional photographers in Mali. Created by prominent African practitioners whose work was commissioned by private patrons as well as State governments, these images document traditional cultural and religious practices, rural festivals, early colonial developments, and processes of modernization in S├ęgu, Mopti, and Bamako, as the latter transitioned from a small agrarian trading village into an urban center and national capital. Recording local practices from African perspectives, these visual materials contain important twentieth century representations of local aesthetics, methods of identity construction and preservation, and documentary strategies.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$300,000 (approved)
$299,989 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 4/30/2017