John Sebastien Derr photographs,

Collection ID:
Physical Description:
1 Lantern slide
8 x 10 cm.
93 Lantern slides
black & white
8 x 10 cm.
1 Folder
calendar (1909)
15 x 24 cm.
Photographs or collected by Dr. John Sebastien Derr, a member of the Sudan United Mission in Cameroon from 1906-1909. As a missionary he was devoted to converting the people in Cameroon to Christianity and to dispelling Islam. The majority of the slides depict life in Adamawa, northern Cameroon. The images document Islamic and other populations in Cameroon. The individual and group portraits of men, women, and children primarily focus on the lives of the indigenous peoples, though a few pictures of Europeans are included. A Hausa leader is featured among the portraits. The Sudan United Mission calendar displaying snapshots of a different missionary with each month. Dr. Derr is featured in January of 1909. Also included in the calendar are a list of officers, five prayers, a list of societies in the Sudan without a missionary and events that relate to the Sudan United Mission. Images of musicians, cooks, hunters, and laborers give some sense of village and missionary life. Other scenes reveal Central African terrain. There are two or three views of mountains, sunrise or sunset, and regional vegetation. Many images capture architecture, among which are building styles ranging from thatched edifices to colonial buildings and to urban street scenes in colonial Egypt. Maritime activity is exhibited in the shots of various boats used by the African peoples. European seamen and passengers are depicted as well. Along with photographs of northern Cameroon, there are several images of life in colonial Egypt.

Paul Wood
Custodial History note
Loaned by Robert G. Jullien, 1993.

General note
General note
Images indexed by negative number.


Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Lantern slides Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cameroon Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Derr, John Sebastien Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 708
Washington, DC 20013-7012