The collection primarily includes photographs of Limba peoples taken by anthropologist Simon Ottenberg during field research in northern Sierra Leone within Bafodea Town, the capital of Wara Wara Bafodea Chiefdom, and Guinea, from October 1978 through July 1980. The collection also includes photographs taken while conducting field research at an Afikpo village-group, in southeastern Nigeria, from January 30, 1988 to February 5, 1988 and in 1992.
Photographs of people and architecture taken by Sujatha Pelletier in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Morocco and Mali from June of 1992 through June of 1995.
Postcards mailed mostly in Lagos between 1906 and 1908 by W. Southcott to Miss Eva Jones, and later, during 1907, to Mrs. W. Southcott (nee Jones) of New Brighton, Cheshire.
Photographs taken by Herbert M. Cole of people and architecture in Kenya, 1973. Peoples included are the Samburu, Turkana and Pokot.
The collection consists of 6,567 color slides taken by Dr. Marilyn Houlberg during various field studies among the Yoruba in southwest Nigeria between 1961 and circa 2005. The images depict Yoruba art and culture with a special focus on artisans, art objects, body arts, costume, festivals, hairstyles, indigenous photography, weaving and textiles. Cultural events depicted include Balufon festivals, Egungun and Gelede masquerades, social events (weddings, christenings, funerals), and religious ceremonies (initiation and animal sacrifice). Also included are various scenes of daily life, architecture, food preparation, markets, portraits and landscapes. Houlberg extensively documented Yoruba artists in the process of creating their art, including carvers Yesufu Ejigboye, Runshewe, and Lamidi Fakeye, as well as the final pieces themselves. Houlberg documentated art in situ, such as Yoruba house posts, shrines, wall art and wood doors and art objects, including Gelede masks, Ibeji (twin) and Eshu figures, Osanyin staffs, and Ogboni and Shango shrines. Manuscript and printed materials, including Houlberg's resume, thesis, and numerous published articles are also available in this collection.
Photographs taken among the Pende peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the years 1955-1957. Publications used for identifying and describing the collection photographs include L'Art Pende (Bruxelles: Académie royale de Belgique, 1958) and Les danses rituelles Mungonge et Kelas des Bapende (Academie royale des sciences coloniales, 1956), both by Léon de Sousberghe; Inventing Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the Central Pende by Z.S. Strother (The University of Chicago Press, 1998); and, from Secrecy: African Art that Conceals and Reveals Mary H. Nooter, ed. (New York: Museum for African Art, 1993), Z.S. Strother's article, The Physical and Social Boundaries of Secrecy: Eastern Pende Constuctions of Secrecy, pp. 157-178.
Photographs taken by Judge Emile E.O. Gorlia during five journeys through the Belgian Congo and two vacation leaves, one in Belgium and one in the Canaries Islands, 1909-1928 and at the World Exposition in Brussels (1958). The collection dates from 1909-1958. His first mission was from January 1910 to January 1912; the second, from February 1915 to March 1917; the third, from December 1917 to April 1920; the fourth, from November 1920 to February 1923 and, the fifth, from March 1926 to December 1928. For his first four missions at Lusambo in the Kasai province, district of Sankuru, Emile Gorlia was acting as an alternate to the public officer at one of the seven tribunals of first instance. During his fifth and final mission, he was promoted as president of the Court at Albertville in the ditrict of Katanga. Judge E.O. Gorlia was a keen amateur photographer with the advantage of not only traveling extensively around the state but also with the privilege of being able to afford the time and money to produce a prolific number of images. His images illustrate with great detail the full experience of a government official in mission in the Belgian Congo, starting in Antwerp at the pier of this Belgian harbor and taking up his duties at Lusambo, an administrative town in the hearth of th Belgian congo. The majority of images are of the following Belgian Congo districts, Lower Congo, Kassai, Sankuru, and Katanga. They include the cities of Banana, Boma, Matadi, Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), Lusambo, Luebo, Dilolo, Albertville (now Kalemie) in the Belgian Congo, Brazzaville in the French Equatorial africa, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Tabora and Kigoma in tanganyika, Dakar in Senegal, Conakry in Guinea, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Port Said in Egypt and finally Casablanca in Morocco. There are also images of villages scenes and portraits of the Tetela, Songye, Luba, Kanioka, Lunda, Chokwe, Pende, Bangala and Kuba. Also included are images of the natural environment as the Congo river, the Kasai and Sankuru rivers, the banks of Lake Tanganyika and the savanna-woodland of the western part of the Katanga district as well as as the south part of the Sankuru region.
Photographs taken by Simon Ottenberg in Southeastern Nigeria within the Afikpo Village Group, at the time a group of 22 Eastern Igbo villages (sometimes considered part of the Cross River Igbo grouping) in southeastern Nigeria, while on a pre-doctoral Social Science Research Grant from December of 1951 through March of 1953 and during field research from September of 1959 to December of 1960. Also included are photographs taken from June of 1960 to December of 1960 of Abakaliki, a town and the administrative center of the northestern Igbo people, north of Afikpo. According to Dr. Ottenberg in his publication about masked Afikpo rituals, "The Afikpo belong to an Igbo subgroup called Ada or Edda (Forde and Jones 1950, pp. 51-56), which includes the Okpaha, Edda, Amaseri, and Unwana village-groups, all of which border on the Afikpo, and the Nkporo and Adaeze, both short distances away" (Masked Rituals of Afikpo, 1975, p. 3).
This collection is comprised of photographic and manuscript materials, primarily created by Eliot Elisofon to document his travels and work. The images portray many aspects of African life and culture including agriculture, wildlife, archaeology, architecture, art and artisans, children, cityscapes and landscapes, leaders, markets, medicine, recreation, ritual and celebration, and transportation. The manuscript materials include correspondence, essays, clippings, puobligations, notes, research, and itineraries.
This collection includes postcards from 45 African countries. Subjects include agriculture; animals; artists; body arts; cityscapes; cultural landscapes; dance; education; expeditions; flora; industry; leaders; marketplaces; medicine; military; missionaries; music; portraits; recreation; rites and ceremonies; and transportation, among many other topics.