The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

The New York Public Library has an online exhibition about African Diaspora throughout the Indian Ocean World, including East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and farther outlying areas. In addition to contextual essays describing each geographic area, the online exhibition has great image content from the NYPL and other museums and cultural institutions. The images include both historical representations from books and artworks as well as recent photographs, and the website also presents maps and multimedia videos.

For more information, visit the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World.

Images of Colonial Africa Digitized by the National Archives

The National Archives has digitised thousands of unique images of Africa and published them on Flickr this week. The collection spans more than 100 years of African history, from as early as the 1860s, including images of people, places, national and imperial events, conflict and natural disasters.

As some of the images have minimal context, the public is invited to contribute to these historical assets by adding comments and captions, filling in knowledge gaps.

The collection is available in Flickr. Via National Archives News.

Historic African Photographs Available Online

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs includes 7,610 photographs, 230 glass lantern slides, and various other materials depicting life in Africa from 1860-1960. For the first time, thousands of these images are now available for free online, thanks to Northwestern University Library.

The collection chronicles Europe’s colonization of East Africa, including the work of explorers, colonial officials, settlers, missionaries, military officers, travelers and early commercial photographers. The collection’s website also includes information for educators, including image galleries of political leaders, animals, monuments, and more.

Swahili Kingdom Images

ArchNet is very happy to announce a new collection of rare Swahili Kingdom images in its Digital Library, the James de Vere Allen Collection.

At present, this collection includes 185 black & white images of the Palace at Gedi, the Great Mosque of Gedi, the Kongo Mosque, the McCrindle house, and the Lamu cityscape, as well as other Kenyan sites.

Sourced from Mr. Allen’s archive, which he donated to MIT in 1988, the online publication of these images was made possible with the kind permission of the family of James de Vere Allen.

Aluka, Digital Library of African Culture

From the Aluka website:

Aluka, a not-for-profit, collaborative and international initiative, announces the release of its online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. ‘Aluka’ is derived from a Zulu word meaning ‘to weave,” reflecting Aluka’s mission to connect resources and scholars from around the world.

Aluka’s partners have contributed materials ranging from archival documents, periodicals, books, reports, manuscripts, and reference works, to three-dimensional models, maps, oral histories, plant specimens, photographs, and slides. The African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes database links high-quality visual, contextual, and spatial documentation. The Aluka digital library includes photographs, 3D models, GIS data, site plans, aerial and satellite photography, images of African rock art, excavation reports, manuscripts, traveller’s accounts, historical and antiquarian maps, books, articles, and other scholarly research.

This resource is available at the University of Chicago on a trial basis until December 31, 2007. Please direct comments to Rob Pleshar in the University Libraries or to the VRC.