Madagascar Photographs

Scope and Content

This class contains photographic material (sepia or black and white prints, postcards and cuttings) connected with the work of the London Missionary Society in Madagascar. It is divided into sub-sections (repeated for the second, and to a lesser extent the third deposit of photographs). The first contains material which has not been assigned to a particular sub-section either because it concerns Madagascar as a whole, it covers more than one sub-section, or there is insufficient information to assign it to a particular sub-section; the second sub-section contains the large amount of commercially produced material in this class (mainly postcards); the third contains material relating to Antananarivo or Tananarive; the fourth to the Betsileo [now in Fianarantsoa province] and Antsihanaka [now in Toamasina province] tribal areas, and the fifth contains portraits. Personal collections of photographs are grouped towards the end of the sequence. There are also photographs from the London Missionary Society Print Library relating to Madagascar.

The material depicts individuals, groups, buildings, and local scenes, featuring missionaries, local Christians, hospitals, schools, etc. Particularly well represented are photographs of buildings and open spaces in Antananarivo town, the various indigenous populations of the island, and travel around it.

More re place names:

Where possible, each place name is identified by a contemporary standard form (generally taken from Norman Goodhall 's 'A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895-1945') and also by a current modern standard form (generally taken from the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names) where this is different. The modern standard for Diego Saurez is Antsirana; Fort Dauphin, Faradofay; Majunga, Mahajanga; Tamatave (instead of Tamatava), Toamasina. Ambohimandroso has been used instead of Ambohimandrasoa or Ambohimiandrasoa; Ambohimanga instead of Ambodimanga; Amparibe instead of Ampahibe; Andramasina instead of Andraimasina; Antsihanaka instead of Sihanaka; Tananarive instead of Tanarive; Tsingoarivo instead of Tsinjo-arivo.

For peoples, Taisaka has been used instead of Tsaika; Tanala instead of Tamala; Tsimihety instead of Tsimahety.


Photographs have been transferred to the archive in three separate deposits and catalogued in three phases. The arrangement of photographic material reflects this, with sections repeated for the different deposits. Large sets such as the mounted lettered and numbered sequence of general prints have been reunited.

Access Information



The main conservation concerns are the albums, particularly album 7 where some of the prints have disintegrated into pieces.

Archivist's Note