Documenting the World: Film, Photography, and the Scientific Record

📖 book review by Peter Sachs Collopy, Technology and Culture 61 (2020), 697–98

Although photography and film are sometimes marginal subjects in the history of technology, the apparent dematerialization produced by digitization has prompted greater interest in materiality and technology from humanities disciplines more invested in their history. At the same time, historians of science have become increasingly attentive to visual representation and how images function as evidence.

Documenting the World’s nine contributors work mostly at the intersection of art history and history of science. The book also brings together scholarship on still photography and moving-image film, typically subjects of separate literatures despite their common materiality. With the exception of a chapter on planetary science, contributions focus on the human sciences broadly conceived, from anthropology to medicine to law.

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Subjects: film, human sciences, media, photography, science, technology, visual culture
Category: writing