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

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.

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.


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.

1880 - 1974
73.75 Linear Feet (103 boxes)
76.0 Linear Feet (107 boxes)
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Spanish; Castilian