Africa Photographs

Scope and Content

Photographic material, including sepia, black and white and colour prints, postcards, cuttings, drawings and negatives connected with the work of the London Missionary Society (and later the Congregational Council for World Mission) in Africa.

Material is divided into sub-sections (repeated for the second, and to some extent the third deposit of photographs). The first section contains material which has not been assigned to a particular sub-section either because it concerns Africa as a whole, it covers more than one sub-section, or there is insufficient information to assign it to a particular sub-section; there are then sections for South Africa [earlier Cape Province], British Bechuanaland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate [later Botswana], Southern Rhodesia [later Zimbabwe], Northern Rhodesia [later Zambia], and other African countries (small amounts of material for countries including Tanganyika [later Tanzania], British East Africa [later Kenya], Uganda, Mauritius, Nyasaland [later Malawi], and the Belgian Congo [later Zaire and the Democratic Republic of Congo]). There is photographic material concerning David Livingstone and Robert Moffat among the general visual material. There are also personal collections of photographs, which have been kept together, and in the third deposit, photographs from the London Missionary Society Print Library relating to Africa.

Photographs show individuals, groups, buildings, and local scenes, featuring missionaries, local Christians, hospitals, schools, etc. Particularly well represented are photographs of the Tiger Kloof institution (near Vryburg, South Africa), Chief Khama III (c.1827-1923) at Serowe (Bechuanaland Protectorate), and the Copperbelt mining region in Northern Rhodesia.

Note re place and person names:

Where possible, each place name has been identified by the contemporary standard form (generally taken from Norman Goodall 's, 'A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895-1945', or from the 'Report of the Deputation to New Guinea and South Seas, April to August 1897', by Ralph Wardlaw Thompson and William Crosfield), and also by a current modern standard form (generally taken from the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Place Names), where this is different. Botletle has been used instead of Botletli; Dar-es-Salaam instead of Daressalaam or Dar-es-Salam; Elisabethville instead of Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi); Essexvale instead of Essex Vale; Kanye instead of Kanyi; Karonga instead of Karongas; Kavimba instead of Kavimbe; Kgotla instead of Kyolla or Khotla; King William's Town instead of Kingwilliamstown; Mporokoso instead of Mpolokoso or Kashinda; Lake Nyasa instead of Lake Nyassa; Palapye instead of Phalapye; Senga instead of Senga Hill; Shire instead of Chire (river); Tsau instead of Tsao; Zambezi instead of Zambesi. For people, Kazembe has been used instead of Kasembe; Khama instead of Kgama; Ma-Bessie instead of MmaBessie or Mma Bessie; Makoba instead of Mokaba; Raditladi instead of Radhitladi; Sekgoma Khama instead of Sekgome Khama, Sekhome Khama or Sekgoma Sekgome; Semane instead of Simane; Shomolekae instead of Shumaliki or Shomolik.


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. Within sub-sections material has either been sorted into manageable units or kept in existing units if these are appropriate. Large sets such as the mounted lettered and numbered sequence of general prints have been reunited. The files have been arranged chronologically as far as is possible, although individual files can cover large date ranges.

Access Information


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Main conservation concerns are the larger panoramic prints which have become torn and creased, crumbling photographic mounts, and the poor state of some of the albums (particularly file 26).

Archivist's Note