Photographs & Travel Journals from the Hedda Morrison Collection

Investigator: Kaja McGowan, History of Art

Collaborator: Shorna Allred, Natural Resources

Arts & Sciences, 2018

This collaborative project examines the cultural resilience of the Penan people in the state of Sarawak in northwestern Malaysia. Hedda Morrison spent 20 years living and working in Sarawak, starting in the late 1940s and she frequently returned to the region throughout the 1970s and 1980s. She began photographing the Penan at a time when they were still predominantly nomadic, but a shift to a more settled life is evident in later photographs. A selection of photographs from the Hedda Morrison photographs, [ca. 1950-1985] collection held by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections were used to conduct ethnographic interviews with the Penan in 2018, aiding in the collection of stories, memories, and ecological and cultural knowledge from Penan elders.This online collection will feature those photographs and Morrison’s travel journals and will allow for further research by students and scholars. It will also allow the Penan themselves to access the materials.