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Archive Z is a digital archive of ethnographic images from the Indian Himalaya and adjacent Pakistani Karakorum region.  Archive Z aims to offer an innovative and accessible portal for viewing and downloading images concerned with agrarian and ritual practices in the Indian Himalaya.

Ultimately, the archive will include more than 7000 images and documentary video footage shot in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir between 1975 and 2010.  Kim Gutschow is the photographer for most of the images in the collection taken between 1989 and 2009.  The collection spans the entire Ladakh region, an area the size of Norway that lies to the west of Tibet and south of the so-called Line of Control that runs between Pakistan and India.  Much of the collection covers the Zangskar subdistrict that lies in the southwestern portion of Ladakh.  The landscape in Ladakh and Zangskar is an arid, Himalayan desert that ranges between altitudes of 12 and 20 thousand feet.

Many of the images are scanned from 35 mm slides or still photographs that were shot on either a Canon or Nikkon manual SLR camera, and more recently a Canon EOS digital camera.  The films used included Kodachrome, Fuji Velvia, and Ektachrome slide film or Kodak color and black & white film.

Archive Z has developed innovative and user-friendly search tools that allow viewers to learn something about Tibetan Buddhist culture whilst searching for images.  The challenge is to make a body of images easily accessible and searchable, even for viewers largely unfamiliar with the Himalayan or Tibetan Buddhist culture and agrarian or pastoral practices.  The website is intended for the general public as well as more particular uses by students of anthropology, sociology, religious studies, geography, and Buddhist studies at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Eventually, the website will provide users with the rewarding experience of not only navigating through images but also contributing to the descriptions of individual images in the archive.  This will be facilitated through a social tagging schema that uses a controlled vocabulary of keywords relating to the visual content of the images.

The team currently developing Archive Z welcomes your emails with questions, comments, or if you are interested in helping develop this site further.  The current team developing this site includes:

Kim Gutschow, Lecturer in Anthropology/Sociology and Religion, Williams College.   [email protected]

Mike Ormsbee, 2013
Jennifer Gossels, 2013

Other individuals and groups that have been critical to the development of Archive Z include:

Jonathan Morgan-Leamon, Director of Instructional Technology, OIT
Kate Krolicki, Web, Print, and Training Specialist, OIT
Mika Harai, Instructional Technology Specialist, OIT
Adam Wang, Senior Instructional Technology Specialist, OIT
Tamra Hjermstad, Media Studios and Technologies Coordinator, OIT
Sharron Macklin, Information Technology Specialist, OIT
Bruce Wheat, Media Services Specialist, OIT
Michael Richardson, Desktop Systems Specialist, OIT
Shawn Rosenheim, ex-Director of FCMT
Jean-Bernard Bucky, ex- Director of FCMT
SASA (South Asian Students Association)
Faculty Center for Media and Technology, Williams College
Spencer Neighborhood
Claire Hsu, ’09
Iris Lee, ‘09
Gonpo Lama, ‘12
Aayush Khadka, ‘12
Maria Tucker-Smith, ‘10
Asma Bashir, CDE ‘06
Stephen Mbewe, CDE ‘06
Jimmy Apaa-Okello, CDE ‘06