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Collection of photographs relating to European colonization in Africa

Call Number: GEN MSS 1606

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of photograph albums, loose photographs, memorabilia and published material that document a European colonialist perspective of Africa and Egypt, and document both African peoples and European colonizers. Locations depicted in the photographs include Cameroon, Dar es Salaam, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Sudan, Tanga, Zambia, other regions throughout Africa, as well as some in Europe.

Identified photographers in this collection include Alfredo Augusto Freire de Andrade, Walther Dobbertin, Paul Karl Lieberenz, and Carl von Vincenti. The bulk of photographs in the collection are created by unidentified photographers.


  • circa 1890s-1930s


Language of Materials

In English, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Collection of photographs relating to European colonization in 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 Maggs Brothers Ltd. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2012.


Organized into seven series: I. Southern Africa, 1890 - 1929. II. Central Africa, circa 1918. III. East Africa, 1887 - 2005. IV. West Africa, 1880 - 1934. V. North Africa, 1904 - 1935. VI. Travel in Africa and Egypt, 1910 - 1920. VII. Colonial documentation of Africa, 1910 - 1933.


40.25 Linear Feet (38 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

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. 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.

Upon receipt, the collection was titled "From Cape to Cairo collection," as assigned by Humphrey Winterton and Maggs Brothers. The collection title was changed during processing in 2020.

Guide to the Collection of photographs relating to European colonization in Africa
by Jessica Tai
May 2020
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

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


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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.