This digitisation funding facilitated TEI encoding of a substantive and unique 19th century photographic archive of the influential mercantile dynasty of Scottish / English and Dutch West India Merchants known as Sandbach Tinne. This important archive has much to tell us about the slave trade, and forms the basis of my PhD research. It consists of 500 photographs, some loose and some mounted in albums. The project involved transcribing captions in the albums and on the reverse of the photographs themselves, as well as photographer’s stamps, to identify the people appearing and to recreate the original organisation and chronology of the collection.

The dataset produced will be made openly available on Cambridge Digital Library alongside high-resolution images of the collection, digitised by the Digital Content Unit.

Having the entire collection encoded with TEI, not only allows for seamless integration of the photographic collection with the paper archive but also for further integration of relevant materials pertaining to the archive as a whole, held at Liverpool, Cutty Sark, Kew and Glasgow.


Malik Al Nasir is a PhD student at the faculty of history at the University of Cambridge, St Catharine’s College. Malik is from a social sciences background and, having acquired a PgDip at the University of Liverpool in applied social research, developed a pilot think tank, “The Social Enterprise Research Initiative”, in conjunction with the “Globalisation and Social Exclusion Unit” under professor Ronaldo Munk, as well as a raft of policy for public sector organisations, such as Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Strategic Housing Partnership. This was the product of a participatory action research initiative that Malik devised, developed and subsequently managed.

Malik went on to co-found a media organisation in Dubai. During that time, he commissioned software development for clinical governance and produced audiovisual materials for the entertainment industry in the USA, UK, South Africa and the Caribbean. Upon returning to the UK, Malik did an MA in New Media Production at Liverpool John Moors University, focusing on the convergence of multimedia technologies. His thesis was the development of a prototype dynamic interactive digital archive, using a family tree builder its information architecture. Malik is now doing a PhD at Cambridge based upon his genealogical research into his family connections back through slavery. His research has appeared in both national and international press, and Malik has a two-book deal with the William Collins imprint of publisher Harper Collins.

Cambridge Digital Humanities

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