The Sikkim Photos, or the Kandell Collection is an online collection of images related to the Sikkim Kingdom, which was founded in the 17th century and became an Indian state in the 1970s. This collection offers a peek into how people lived in the Kingdom of Sikkim, despite the kingdom and monarchy no longer existing in the same form today. The collection is made up of photographs of the land and geography as well as people, in many different contexts and with a range of focuses. These include images of people doing things like cooking, family life, traditional clothings and recipes, and religion.
Beyond this collection, the Library of Congress website is an open-access resource available for students and teachers to browse. It boasts a wide selection of documents, many of which are free to use. These documents include photographs, books, films, web archives, legislation and more, from a range of subjects and time periods. The Library of Congress also offers some lesson plans making use of primary sources they host, a blog describing teaching methods, and other resources to enhance both the student and teacher experience. These resources, combined with its easy to use platform, make it, as well as this collection, great resources and guides for use in the classroom.
This collection is a very useful resource for the classroom, not only because the images are in the public domain, but also because of the assortment of photos and topics it covers. Although there are only around 300 images available online at the time this piece was written, there are over 15,000 images in this collection belonging to the Library of Congress. In addition to the images included in the collection, the webpage also links to related articles and essays, such as a biography of the photographer, a link to an “Ask the Librarian” section of the Library of Congress website, and other expert resources. This makes the Sikkim Photos Collection useful not only for studying South Asian life and culture, but also in learning contextually how collections like these are created.