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Photographs Relating to European Occupation, Colonization, and Conflicts in North and East Africa

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 1508

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photograph albums, loose photographs, and postcards documenting the European colonization, occupation, and conflicts in North and East Africa. The collection documents a European colonial perspective of the colonization of African countries including Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia), Algeria, Eritrea, Kenya, Libya, Melilla, Morocco, and Somalia. Photographs depict African colonial subjects and other communities in North and East Africa, traditional housing, markets, and landscapes. Includes images showing interactions between colonizers and African colonial subjects, including askari soldiers and European colonial troops. Other images depict fascist monuments, colonial architecture, and infrastruture development including the building of roads, bridges, and railways to aid in the extractive colonial economy of exporting resources.

The collection documents conflicts including the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1895-1896, the Turco-Italian War, 1911-1912, World War I, 1914-1918, the Rif War, 1921-1926, the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1936, and World War II, 1939-1945. Images depict Italian and Spanish colonial troops, askari, and African colonial subjects and civilians during European occupation, invasion, and colonization of African peoples and countries.

This collection contains harmful and racist depictions of African people, as well as images of atrocities including dead and mutilated bodies and African people who have been murdered by hanging.

Dates

  • 1880 - 1974

Language of Materials

Primarily in Italian, with some materials in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photographs Relating to European Occupation, Colonization, and Conflicts in North and East Africa is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Kevin Jackson on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2009-2018; on the Henry C. Taylor Fund, 2020.

May 2012 acquisition: Purchased from McBlain Books on the African General Fund, 2012.

Arrangement

Organized into four series: I. East Africa, 1880 - 1955. II. North Africa, 1909 - 1962. III. Other and multiple locations, 1894-1974. IV. Conflicts, 1895 - 1956.

Extent

73.75 Linear Feet (103 boxes)

76.0 Linear Feet (107 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.africaphotographs

Overview

This collection contains photograph albums, loose photographs, and postcards documenting the European colonization, occupation, and conflicts in North and East Africa. The collection documents a European colonial perspective of the colonization of African countries including Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia), Algeria, Eritrea, Kenya, Libya, Melilla, Morocco, and Somalia. Photographs depict African colonial subjects and other communities in North and East Africa, traditional housing, markets, and landscapes. Includes images showing interactions between colonizers and African colonial subjects, including askari soldiers and European colonial troops. Other images depict fascist monuments, colonial architecture, and infrastruture development including the building of roads, bridges, and railways to aid in the extractive colonial economy of exporting resources.

History of colonization in Africa

Beginning in the 1870s, Africa faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and occupation and colonization. African rulers and peoples demonstrated various forms of resistance against the attempt to colonize their countries, including mobilizing local military to resist the seizure of their lands and the imposition of colonization. Despite these efforts, by 1900 much of Africa had been colonized by Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Beginning in the 1950s, African countries began to gain independence from their colonizing nations. Although countries began to be technically considered autonomous nations with political independence, the many decades of colonial oppression and exploitation of African economic and cultural resources has left a damaging impact that continues to affect contemporary African society today.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection or revisions in arrangement and description.

Information included in the Content Description note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Portions of description for this collection have been directly repurposed from description supplied with the collection upon its receipt. Copies of the description received with the collection have been physically retained with the material. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

Description that was received with the collection has been retained. Description may contain racist or harmful language. The inclusion of this description is not an endorsement of the language it contains. Original descriptions have been retained to provide additional historical or contextual information.
Title
Guide to photographs relating to European occupation, colonization, and conflicts in North and East Africa
Status
Completed
Author
by Jessica Tai and Eve Neiger
Date
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.