Recording Kastom



In 2019, when I was still working at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, I assisted with some digitisation and photography work for an academic publication being edited by Anita Herle, the museum's Senior Curator for Anthropology, and Jude Philp, Senior Curator of the Macleay Collections at the University of Sydney's Chau Chak Wing Museum. The book, Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon's Journals from the Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898, has recently been published and I was excited to receive my copy in the post a few days ago.



I photographed several objects in MAA's collections for this book. I also digitised Alfred Haddon's original journal pages and then extracted his field drawings from these digitised pages in Photoshop so they could be reproduced 'floating' on the page. In some cases, the drawings in the book are accompanied by photographs of the objects they represented.


It's always exciting seeing my work in print; something about committing things to paper and binding makes them feel more complete somehow. I'm sure a lengthy editing and design process also has something to do with it: making sense and order out of the chaos of research and project work. I don't claim to know much about this subject, but I enjoyed working on it and it's nice to see the finished result.


Recording Kastom is available to buy online now, published by Sydney University Press.