the new web version of the of the Naga project
similar projects of its time, videodisc technology was not taken up
with any enthusiasm in Britain. The sophisticated player that we used
was difficult to get hold of and institutions did not have a wider
use for it. However, our experience with migrating the Earls Colne
database to the web made us keen to try to do so with the Naga project.
2001, Richard Boulton, who had worked with Martin Porter in the past,
and Sarah Harrison began the difficult task of converting the videodisc
and database into a web version. It has been done as a faithful copy
of the original system. The images and sound tracks were all downloaded
from the videodisc and made into jpeg, mp3 and mp4 files. The data
was converted into XML and edited to include images and sound. The
new online version is in html. It should be simpler to use as the data
structure has been much improved by Louise Boulton.
to the Naga data
Men Who Hunted Heads - The Nagas of Assam'
is the complete
film made by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf for the BBC in 1970 which
we indexed from his diary in the database.
of the original project
This project ran from 1985 to 1992 and involved the following people:
Michael Bryant, Sarah Harrison, Anita Herle, Julian Jacobs, Alan Macfarlane
and Martin Porter. It was funded with small grants from: King's College
Research Centre, Cambridge; Leverhulme Trust; Nuffield Foundation; Economic
and Social Research Council; University of Cambridge.
of the materials
6500 black and white field photographs; 1350 colour photographs of museum
objects; 150 sequences of moving film; maps, sketches, painting and
72 minutes of sound.
about 5000 pages of text, including much unpublished historical material
(field notes, tour diaries, letters, thesis), as well as some published
materials. All of this concerns the Naga peoples of the North-Eastern
frontier of India and Burma.
original materials are in English and German, and cover the period from
The materials were obtained from various private collections, Pitt-Rivers
Museum and Archive, School of Oriental and African Studies, Cambridge
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Mankind and other
transcripts are currently deposited in the Department of Social Anthropology
Access to the collections
materials were made available in the following ways:
Museum Exhibition which lasted from 1990 to 1992 in the Museum of Archaeology
and Anthropology at Cambridge (see Guide & Articles)
Naga videodisc (optical disc) which contained the visual materials
as described across.
The Naga database (hard disc) the data and indexes to the data
were contained in a database (some 24 megabytes in size), which was
accessed by a probabalistic information retrieval system written by
is also a book written by Julian Jacobs, in association with Alan Macfarlane,
Sarah Harrison and Anita Herle, The
Nagas, Hill Peoples of North East India: Anthropology and the Colonial
Encounter (Thames and Hudson, 1990).
the related software was the Cambridge
Database System (CDS) a probabilistic information retrieval system
based on the MUSCAT (Museum Cataloguing system), written by Martin Porter.
developed was 'Videoscript', a program to provide 'authoring' facilities
on a videodisc player in combination with an Amiga microcomputer written
by Michael Bryant. ]
Annual reports on the project were written from, 1985-1989 to Nuffield
Foundation and Economic and Social Research Council (final report to
ESRC deposited in the British Lending Library).
are a number of accounts of
the project and how the data was selected, the computer software