These papers consist mainly of records of the Astrophysical Observatory (also abbreviated APO) under the Directorship of Samuel P. Langley, Charles G. Abbot, and Loyal B. Aldrich.
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 finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Manuscript and printed textual material, photographic prints and negatives, slides, audio tapes, film, original and reproduction artwork, maps, scrapbooks, and historical and natural artifacts related to the history of African exploration and natural history, dating primarily from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Includes correspondence, drafts of publications, diaries, account books, ephemera, posters, newsclippings, biographies, memoirs, portraits, and the former personal property of selected explorers, big game hunters, missionaries, pioneers, and naturalists in Africa.
The Technical Reference Files comprise an artificial collection that currently contains 1,900 cubic feet of aviation and space related materials, organized in 22 subject series. File materials include photographs, press releases, clippings, correspondence, reports, and brochures, on individuals, organizations, events, and objects.
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 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 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.