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African Historical Photographs: African Historical Photographs, M - Z

African historical photographs, postcards, posters from archives and libraries worldwide.

African Historical Photographs, M - Z

History of Kisumu, Kenya. Essays, photographs. Luo history and culture. See the Kisumu Archive with over 100 photographs. From Maseno University (Kisumu, Kenya) and Cleveland State University (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.). Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Nelson Mandela, the Auction. February 2024
About 100 items for auction from the Mandela family. -African Odyssey
Narrative and photographs of the author's travels through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana in the spring of 1999. Some photographs cover themes (statues, transport, women). Has a photo of Thomas Sankara's grave (former Burkina Faso president). By Mark Davies of London, U.K. [KF]

MUNDUS Gateway to Missionary Collections in the U.K.
Site has been archived by the Internet Archive. A rich resource for locating U.K. archives of missionary societies and missionaries in Africa. Guide to more than 400 collections of missionary materials in over 40 institutions in the United Kingdom. Locate archives by geographic area, personal name, organizations, subjects, keyword. Maintained by Archive staff at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. Includes a sample of historical photographs, links to related sites.

[Namibia] Photograph Album on Colonial Namibia. 1900-1903
Author - Koenen, Joseph.
Album of fifty-three original gelatin silver photographs of Swarkopmund, Windhoek, Gross Barmen, Oljimbingue, Karibib, Ababis and Khan in Deutsch Suedwest Afrika (Namibia) compiled by a senior German colonial surveyor when Namibia was the German colony of Deutsch Suedwest Afrika. Stanford University Library. Special Collections. Call Number - MSS PHOTO 0603

National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom - Image Library

National Library of Australia. Catalogue
Search for citations to images in the library and to online images. Has many South Africa related images. [KF]

National Library of South Africa. Digital Collections
Digitized primary sources. Examples --

Newspapers - African Leader, Amanzimtoti Observer, Bantu World, Basutoland News, Cape Argus, Cape Indian
Journals - Burlesque (weekly family & society)
Posters - Political, World War II, Shipping Lines
Postcards - Cape Town
Bleek Collection - African languages, plants

New York Public Library
Historical photographs include

New York Times - A Continent Remade. Reflections on 1960, the Year of Africa
Special magazine issue of the New York Times. Includes photographs some by African photographers.

Northern Rhodesians Worldwide
Stories of life in Northern Rhodesia. The "British South Africa Historical Catalogue & Souvenir of Rhodesia from the Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg, 1936-1937" can be downloaded from the Internet Archive.

Northwestern University. Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies - African Posters
Has online images of 77 posters, part of a larger collection. Posters are from anti-apartheid movements, South Africa under apartheid, the 1994 South African election and Lusophone / Southern Africa liberation movements.

Northwestern University. Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies. E. H. Duckworth Photograph Collection 
 "Duckworth was a British expatriate officer who lived in Nigeria. He was the founder and original editor of Nigeria magazine. The collection consists of some 12,500 images pertaining to Nigerian culture, history and inhabitants."

Northwestern University. Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies. Winterton Collection
The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar) and Ethiopia photographs comprises c. 7,600 photographs taken primarily in East Africa between about 1860 and 1960.

Oxford University. Pitt Rivers Museum - Recovering the Material and Visual Cultures of the Southern Sudan: A Museological Resource
"catalogue of the collections from Southern Sudan held at the Pitt Rivers Museum, the University of Oxford's museum of anthropology and world archaeology." 1300 artefacts and 5000 photographs from Southern Sudan.

Pankhurst, Richard - Ethiopian History
Many articles by Dr. Pankhurst originally published in the newspaper, Addis Tribune. Topics include Ethiopian crosses, art, manuscripts, Lalibala, the looted Aksum Obelisk, Ethiopian artists, early history of photography in Ethiopia, etc.

Panos Pictures
Use the Search box. Search for  Alice Seeley Harris to locate historical photographs (early 1900s) of the Congo (DRC) from Anti-Slavery International taken by Alice Seeley Harris and her husband, John Harris. Has extensive descriptions. " Their photographs formed part of what was probably the first orchestrated multimedia campaign against large scale human rights abuses. Alice Seeley Harris was a missionary in the Belgian Congo, and during her time there witnessed the horrific abuses of the indigenous population exploited by a wicked regime under King Leopold II of Belgium."

Princeton Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Egyptian Miracles of Mary (PEMM) Project 
1,000+ Miracles of Mary folktales/stories and 2,500+ images painted of the Virgin Mary from African countries. The stories are originally in Ethiopic or Arabic script and published between 1300 and the present.  Includes 2,500 paintings of the Virgin Mary owned by repositories worldwide, digitized Arabic manuscripts and translated (into English) stories, research and lessons and a Bibliography. The Project was directed by Prof. Wendy Laura Belcher. [KF]

Royal Geographical Society
The Picture Library holds photographs and artwork from the 1830s onwards "covering a wide variety of subjects including climbing, the Colonial Empire, deserts, exploration, indigenous peoples, landscapes, remote destinations and travel." Does have a slide show with an 1873 photo of a crowd entering Christianbourg Castle in Ghana.
Special collections include:

  • Thomas Baines (1820-1875): "The Society holds over forty original oil paintings and numerous sketches and watercolours, (mainly of Africa and Australia) by Baines, resident artist of the Society and artist on Livingstone's 1858 expedition to the Zambezi." In the Picture Library, see the Gallery.
  • Samuel White Baker (1821-1893): "Watercolour sketches by this big game hunter, illustrate Baker's expedition to locate the source of the Nile. Baker with his wife Florence, who together travelled through Africa and reached a large lake in 1864 which Baker named Lake N'yanza, now Lake Albert on the Uganda/Zaire border. It was only later established as a secondary source of the River Nile."
  • Sir Harry Johnston (1858-1927): "Penetrating portraits and social documentation by this colonial administrator, geographer and anthropologist of Africa (1890-1900)...."

Senegal Online - Historical Photographs - l'Afrique Occidentale Française
Historial images from French West Africa. Based in Melun, France. [KF]

Sierra Leone Web - Photographs
Many sites with Sierra Leone photographs. Includes historic photos and postcards from Gary Schulze and Glenn Elert's Salone Scrapbook with currency from the 1980s and earlier. Site maintained by Peter C. Andersen.

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of African Art. In and Out of Focus. Images from Central Africa, 1885-1960
A small selection from the exhibit of "...photographs from central Africa [DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda, Tanzania, Angola] circulated as postcards, stereographs and illustrations between 1885, when the region came under the colonial domination of the Belgian crown, France and Portugal, and 1960, when central African countries gained their independence."

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of African Art. Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean
Early photographs, lithographs, postcards, and private albums, bibliography, audio Oud music and Swahili poetry in Swahili, Arabic, and English.

Sudan Memory Project
"to conserve and promote valuable cultural materials from and about Sudan through digitisation" Includes films, photographs, manuscripts, objects, documents, maps and art works. Rashid Photo Studio (1940s-1990s). Sudan National Records Office images (early 1900s), photographs from the Sudan Archaeological Research Society and the American Geographical Society Library (1952-1961) plus maps. Issues of the Sudan Times 1914-1956. Issues of Youth and Sports, Radio, Television and Theatre, Al-Khartoum, Huna Omdurman. Short essays on Sudan history and culture. Support from the Sudanese Association for Archiving Knowledge, Professor Marilyn Deegan from King’s College London, the National Records Office in Sudan, and the British Council.

Uganda - An Air Photo Archive of Settlement and Agriculture Rural Uganda 1963
Photographs taken 1963 for a study of indigenous land use and settlement (West Nile and the North East) by Walter W. Deshler, on a sabbatical leave from the Geography Department, University of Maryland. Also ground based views of houses, granaries and other items. "Air photo archive of settlement and agriculture in rural Uganda 1963. Most photos are from low flying aircraft. Landscapes are shown in some detail, including houses, granaries, crops in the field, occasionally livestock and corrals." Mirror site at the University of Maryland Geography Department:

UNESCO Photobank Online
In English and French. Photographs and slides from 1946 + when UNESCO was founded. Search options include by country, geographic location (city, etc.), topic, photographer, year, keyword.

United Methodist Church. General Commission on Archives and History
Photographs of members and work of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1910-1950s.
Includes photographs of the missionaries. For the African photographs, see the Album Lists, then Series: World, then Africa.

University of Cape Town Librariescti
Photographers     Photographic Collections

University of Cape Town Libraries - The San (Bushman) Photographs of Dorothea Bleek
A selection of photos from "an album containing 310 photographs [1910 to the 1920s] taken by Dorothea Bleek during her many expeditions to identify and record the San (Bushman) languages of Southern Africa." Includes Bleek's "Distribution map of Bushmen languages."

University of Cape Town Libraries - UCT Through the Years
"Groote Schuur Campus 1900 - Present" Historical photographs (buildings) of the University of Cape Town campus. "....selected from a collection of photographs of the Groote Schuur campus, in the Manuscripts and Archives Department at the University of Cape Town Libraries. They date from the early 1900s to the present ....."

University of Florida. Photographs of Africa

University of Natal. Campbell Historic Photograph Collection
Need to register to look at images. "some 30,000 images, [by Dr Killie Campbell] mainly black and white and sepia toned prints, a rich visual documentation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, mainly of Natal and Zululand." Includes Bambata Rebellion 1906Dinuzulu, King of the Zulu, "early Durban, including street scenes, architecture, harbour and environs in late nineteenth century," Cape Town; Stellenbosch; Pietermaritzburg; King William's Town, Sheba Mine and town of Barberton, Swaziland, raiilways, hunting scenes, military groups, cultural dress and traditions of Northern Zululand and Tongaland. Part of the Killie Campbell Africana Library. [KF]

University of Southern California. International Mission Photography Archive
"...historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections in Britain, Norway, Germany, and the United States." Search by country or repository. Includes Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. The photographs relating to Africa come from the archives of the Moravian Church, Leipzig Mission, the Norwegian Missionary Society, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Site based at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. [KF]

University of Virginia. Jackson Davis Collection (1915-1930)
Over 400 photographs (with almost no descriptions) from various African countries (Uganda,  Zimbabwe, Liberia, Congo, etc.). Part of 4,000 photographs of African-American educational scenes in the southern United States. Photographs by Jackson Davis ca. 1915-1930 taken when he was with the General Education Board in New York, New York.

University of Washington Libraries - Cities and Buildings Database
Many photographs of buildings from Ethiopia (churches, traditional wall paintings, Lalibela, photos by Juli McGruder), also from Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana (slave castles, traditional buildings), Northern Ghana (Herbert Cole photographs), Kenya (traditional buildings, Fort Jesus), Mali (mosques, cliff dwellings, Timbuktu), Niger (markets, Univ. of Niamey, villages, resorts, Nigeria (Nigerian architect's residence, markets, local govt buildings, compounds, homes, schools, Lagos, shrines, National Museum, includes Simon Ottenberg's photographs, secret society building), Tanzania (Zanzibar, mosques, carved doors, Zanzibar fort, People's Palace, includes photos by Juli McGruder), Zimbabwe (Great Zimbabwe, photos by Juli McGruder), Madagascar, Senegal. Includes photographs from journalist Lisa Schnellinger. [KF]

Villon Films - South African Propaganda
Films created by the South African apartheid government to justify apartheid. From Peter Davis' Villon Films.

Wellcome Library for the History of Medicine
Has images such as health education posters from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria etc., over 2,000 AIDS posters, photographs of diseases, sleeping sickness in Uganda & Nyasaland, the Boer War, Sudan, ethnographic photos. Based in London, U.K.

West African Online Digital Library - Historical Photographssleep
Project of Michigan State University, IFAN, and WARC.
Includes -

Sampling from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire, IFAN (historical photographs),
Phil Curtin Collection (photographs, audio interview on his work on economic change in precolonial Senegambia in the era of the slave trade, Bundu),
Photographs from “Passport to Paradise: Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond (the "urban visual culture of the Mourides, a Senegalese Sufi movement centered upon the life and teachings of a local saint named Sheikh Amadou Bamba"), Mosques of Bondoukou (1980s photographs). [KF]

[White Fathers] Flemish Institute for Archives - White Fathers Films
"a unique collection of mission films ...... 200 reels of 16mm film,... in 80 unique titles. Mission films are a little known genre ....showcases the missiological and colonial views of the missionaries, known as “White Fathers”, as well as depictions of their lives during their missions in the Belgian Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. These films date from 1948 to the 1960s and include documentaries, feature films, and educational footage."
The Collection which is still under copyright.

[White Fathers] Smithsonian Institution. Pères Blancs (White Fathers) Photographic Albums, EEPA 1987-010
"The Pères Blancs (White Fathers) Society Photographic Album documents the group's missions and the Africans living near them in the East African kingdoms of Rwanda and Burundi (now the state of Rwanda-Burundi). Subjects include individual and group portraits of Africans, including members of the Tutsi royal family " [KF]

Large collection of contemporary and historical photos. Includes photos from the Aart Rietveld collection, African Studies Centre Library, Leidan which has Robben Island photos and Nigeria 1970s photos. You can upload your photos.

World Digital Library
In seven languages. Primary sources world wide. Antiquarian African maps, Arabic manuscripts from Timbuktu, early 20th century photographs, text of the speech by Nigerian independence leader Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904-96) on the day he became governor-general of Nigeria, South African San rock paintings, early travel journals. Supported by the U.S. Library of Congress, UNESCO, and National Libraries world wide.

Yale University Library - Casimir Zagourski Postcard Collection
200 postcards (many online) from the photogaraphs of Zagourski, of Polish parentage, who moved to Leopoldville, Congo in 1924. From 1924 and 1941, he traveled around Belgian Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Chad, Kenya, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Congo-Brazzaville as a photographer.

Yale University - David Apter Collection
"125 photographs taken by David E. Apter from 1951 to 1960 in the African countries of Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast), Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Benin (formerly known as Dahomey), during the buildup of nationalism and the start of independence. The photographs portray scenes of everyday life in these countries." Apter was Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Sociology. See also Guide to his papers and obituary.

Yale University. History of Christianity
"resources in the area of History of Christianity, including the best databases, reference tools, and online resources" Includes Free Web Resources on Religion: Image Resources.