Collection of Photographs taken in Portuguese Nyasaland (Northern Mozambique) 1920-1921

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-703
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 folder with circa 24 photographs, 2 printed matter. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of circa 24 mounted photographs, on paper, with descriptions, of parts of Portuguese Nyasaland, now northern Mozambique. They show: a caravan leaving Port Amelia (Pemba) on the Indian Ocean ; the residence of the Portuguese magistrate; geology of the area; a well; Queen Cona, chief of the Medo Makuas; the interior bush country; coconut plantation; the Union Castle liner 'Gaika' off Port Amelia; damage after a cyclone; a Banian dhow in Pemba Bay; and, views of Pemba Bay and Port Amelia. There is also a copy of The geology of Portuguese Nyasaland and Portuguese Nyasaland by Robert R. Walls, the former extracted from the Geological magazine Vol. 59., No. 695, May 1922, and the latter from The Scottish geographical magazine Vol. 38., July 1922.

Administrative / Biographical History

The distinguished research scientist Robert Reid Walls was born and educated in Edinburgh, though his family came from Orkney. His father was a scientific-instrument maker in Edinburgh, responsible for the first x-ray apparatus in the city. After graduating from Edinburgh University from which he was awarded the degree of MA in 1914 - and also a B.Sc. - the younger Walls entered the field of electrical and mechanical instruments design. He became involved in industry and management and was co-opted as a member of the British Institute of Management set up by Sir Stafford Cripps. Walls travelled abroad on scientific research, especially in Brazil (looking for rare minerals) and in East Africa (searching for oil) spending some time in Portuguese Nyasaland which today constitutes part of northern Mozambique. He became a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his work. Robert Reid Walls died in Bournemouth on 12 September 1975.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material transferred from the Centre of African Studies, Edinburgh University, 27 June 1960, Accession no. E90.61.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) 'Obituary'. University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 27. 1975-1976. pp.326-327. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Graduates' Association, 1976.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Geographical Names