William Fagg photographs
The photographs document William Fagg's extensive survey work in Nigeria and his trips to Benin, Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zaire. The photographs illustrate African cultures and works of art, especially those of the Yoruba in Nigeria. Nigerian artisans portrayed include a blacksmith in the town of Jebba, a craftsman casting brass at Ijebu-Ode, and a potter at work in Nok. Celebrations and ceremonies documented include the igue oba and itue ceremonies and the festival of leaves in Benin. There are also images of dances of the Bargesh in northern Nigeria and a masked dance at Nok. Architecture documented includes altars and shrines in Benin and in Oyo, Nigeria; a Birom settlement; Brazilian-style houses in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin; an emir's house in Nigeria; a Jarawa village in Nigeria; the mosque in Keffi, Nigeria; and palaces of Yoruba kings. Most of the photographs show sculpture including Benin bronze plaques and hip masks; Esie stone sculpture; Ifa divination boards, drums, and figures; a Kuba ndop (royal statue) in the Kinshasa Museum; Nok terra-cotta and wooden figures; and Tada bronze figures. There also are images of epa (masquerade) masks; gelede (men's society) masks; a head of Olokun (a male Yoruba divinity) from Ibadan, Nigeria; and Yoruba edan ogboni (bronze staffs) and ibeji (twin figures) from Nigeria. Images of objects by identifiable artists include a palace pillar, post and sculpture by Agbonbiofe; a door and epa mask by Areogun; and a house post and lidded bowl by Olowe of Ise.
Marli Shamir photographs
89 Photographic prints ((1 v.), black and white, 23 x 18 cm. or smaller)
Photographs taken by Marli Shamir in Mali, in 1971. The majority of the images show architecture in Djenne, Mali. Other images depict architecture of the Dogon in Timbuktu, Gao and San. Photographs from this collection were featured by Labelle Prussin's thesis entitled, "The Architecture of Djenne; African Synthesis and Transformation," (Yale University, 1974) and in her book entitled, "Hatumere: Islamic Design in West Africa," (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). The images have also been displayed in an exhibition entitled, "Marli Shamir Photographs from the Sahel," held in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, in 1976.
Simon Ottenberg photographs of Limba and Afikpo Peoples
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.
Congo (Brazzaville) photographs
354 Photographic prints (silver gelatin (1 box), black & white, 7 x 8 cm. or smaller.)
The album was compiled by Eugene Brusseaux, a French colonial, very likely a merchant, who lived, worked and traveled in the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic (then Afrique Equatoriale Francaise), and in northern Cameroon (then German colony of Kamerun). The images may well have been taken by Brusseaux himself. Mr. de Strycker acquired the album, which previously belonged to Professor Verneau of the Musee de L'Homme, Paris, in a sale from Professor Verneau of the Musee de l'Homme, Paris. The album shows the classic arrangement of many similar colonial albums, depicting Brusseaux's voyage from France to Libreville in Gabon, and Matadi on the mouth of the Congo River. From there Brusseaux took the railroad to Leopoldville (Kinshasa) and traveled on the Brazzaville. He continued on the Congo River to Balobo and Kounda, then over land towards the Sangha River, through Bonga and Loboko to M'Bako on the Sangha River and to Ouesso, now on the border of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. From Ouesso, he continued on to Nola, Carnot and Baboua. He then visited Kounde, and crossed into German territory, moving on the Ngaoundere. This is where the album ends. The photographs depict some of the Belgian and French colonial cities. There are excellent images of transportation in Matadi. Brazzaville is the topic of many good architectural photographs. A very interesting set shows the Catholic Mission of Brazzaville in 1901 and 1904 with a unique interior shot of the cathedral. Further inland, the photographs of colonial settlements focus on trading posts, such as Bonga, Kadei, Carnot and Baboma. Many photographs show Africans, indigenous architecture, and celebrations. They focus on the Pomo, the Pande, the Baya (Baja in German writing), and Hausa and Fulbe. Images from Baboma, Kounde and Ngaoundere show indigenous Fulbe architecture, including a series of the Lamido's palace at Ngaoundere, and Fulbe kings, retainers and women. One set depicts women with Fulbe style coiffures of extraordinary complexity (wigs).
Jacob and Eleanor Reis photographs
Reis, Eleanor Nicely, Mrs.
96 Negatives (photographic) (dupe negs, black & white, 8 x 11 cm. )
96 Transparencies (dupe trans, black & white, 8 x 11 cm. )
24 Negatives (photographic) (dupe negs, black & white, 9 x 11 cm. or smaller )
110 Negatives (photographic) (black & white, 9 x 11 cm. or smaller)
129 Lantern slides (silver gelatin, black & white, 6 x 9 cm. )
3 Volumes (copy prints, black & white, 8 x 10 in. )
2 Volumes (contact prints, black & white, 9 x 11 cm. )
174 Negatives (photographic) (dupe negs, black & white, 6 x 9 cm. )
Photographs taken by Jacob Anthony Reis to document his experiences in Southern Cameroon while serving as a Presbyterian missionary from 1909 to 1945. The photographs document the life and peoples at Jacob A. Reis's mission stations, especially in and near Efulen, Cameroon, in the early 20th Century. African peoples pictured include the Bassa, Bulu and Ntumu. Structures depicted include churches, a dispensary, a fishing hut, a saw mill, school buildings such as a Baptist girls' school in Doulal and thatched roof buildings. Also included are African ritual objects collected by the mission and a photographic reproduction of a handwritten statistical list of bible readers, communicants, preachers and students.
Macdonald Calabar photographs
135 Photographic prints (albumen, black & white, 14 x 21 cm.)
135 Photographic prints (copy prints (2 v.), black & white, 8 x 10 in.)
Photographic album formerly belonging to Major General Claude Maxwell Macdonald (1852-1915), Commissioner, Oil Rivers Protectorate, in West Africa, circa 1895. The album contains photographs of the consulate general in Old Calabar, Opobo and Bonny. Images, such as the arrival of Lady Macdonald in 1895 (returning from a home leave), interiors of British residences, and (named) group portraits of the British reflect colonial life and infrastructure. Native and British troops are depicted as well. Several images show the results of the British attacks on Brass and Nembe, in retaliation for King Nana's unwillingness to cooperate. Several images were taken of chiefs, among them a copy photograph of a 1882 image of King Nana of the Benin River, King Jaja of Opobo, King Koko of Brass, King Duke IX of Old Calabar, and King George Pebble of Bonny. Perhaps the most outstanding imagery is a series "On the way to Benin," which contains the photograph of an altar, a crucified woman, a forest path, and a contingent of British colonials. Several remarkable photographs depict Cross River masquerades with head crests, dances of Kru "Boys," and portray women of the Niger Delta. One photograph, showing the bronze sculpture of a Benin horseman placed on a rug in front of a wall (very likely taken in Nigeria), is of great interest for art historians. This particular figure left Benin before the city was ransacked and destroyed by the British Punitive Expedition in 1987, and, according to William B. Fagg, eminent historian of Nigerian art, came to the Merseyside County Museums, Liverpool, UK, as early as 1892 (note that Macdonald arrived in the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1891).
Michael and Lona Kennéy photographs
Kennéy, Lona B. Mrs., 1896-1994
1 Film reel (1 reel (89 interpositives), black & white, 70 mm.)
16 Photographic prints ((1 box), black & white, 32 x 25 cm. or smaller)
237 Photographic prints ((contact prints), black & white, 8x10 in. or smaller)
8 Postcards (black & white, 8 x 12 cm.)
237 Photographic prints ((1 v.), black & white, 8x10 in. or smaller)
Photographs taken or collected by Dr. Michael Kennéy while serving as a colonial medical officer in the Belgian Congo from 1933-1939. Eight images are portrait photographs. They are numbers 103, 104, 105, 108, 110, 111, 112, 114
Andrew and Martha Ruch photographs
211 Photographic prints ((1 vol.) + papers., black & white, 8 x 13 cm. or smaller.)
115 Lantern slides (hand colored, 6 x 9 cm.)
Photographs taken and lantern slides collected by Andrew and Martha Ruch to document their experiences as missionaries in Africa during the 1920s. The photographs document Andrew and Martha Ruch's missionary work and their activities among the Kikuyu people. Places shown include Cairo, Egypt; the Mediterranean Sea; a beach in Mombasa, Kenya; Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Port Said, Egypt and the Suez Canal. Activities depicted include building houses, carrying loads such as grass (for thatching), luggage, water and wood; cooking; drying skins; grinding millet; pounding sugar cane and selling items from boats to ship passagers. Ceremonies included are baptisms and church ceremonies. Portraits of people include Christian converts; chiefs, children; families; Muhia, Ruchs' assistant; the Ruches; and warriors. Many of the portraits document African clothing, ornaments, scarification and weapons. Architectural images include building materials, grain bins, houses (including Ruch's home), mosques, museums in Cairo, pyramids, railroads, temples in Egypt and villages. Boats, motorcycles and ships are also pictured. Nature scenes of landscapes and animals vary greatly and include mountains, trails, rivers, vegetation, waterfalls as well as birds, camels, cattle, donkeys, lizards and a lion.
Historic maps of Africa collection
The Historic Maps of Africa collection includes 78 maps and dates from circa 1631 to 1973. Geographic content of individual maps varies from topographical information, boundaries of colonial territories, and ethnic groups, among other topics. While several depict the continent of Africa in its entirety, many focus on specific countries and geographic regions. There are a particularly large number of maps depicting the West African Coast.
Eva L. R. Meyerowitz Photographs
Meyerowitz, Herbert Vladimir, 1900-1945
268 Copy negatives (black and white, 35 mm)
285 Photographic prints ((0.4 cubic feet; 3 binders), black and white, 8 x 10 inches or smaller)
16 Contact sheets (black and white, 8 1/2 x 11 inches or smaller)
This collection consists of negatives and photographic prints taken in 1936 and 1937 by Eva L.R. Meyerowitz in Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. Peoples depicted include the Akan, Fon, Konkomba, and Tallensi and subjects include artisans, blacksmiths, dancing, markets, artwork and objects that were originally displyed in King Bezu's palace in Abomey, potters, shrines, and vernacular architeture.