The African art collection of the Yale University Art Gallery comprises nearly 2,000 objects, representing 3,000 years of African history, with masks, figures, utilitarian objects, jewelry, ceramics, and textiles from throughout the continent. Highlights include ritual figures and masks from West and Central Africa, jewelry from North Africa, and terracotta antiquities from the Sahel area.
The Yale Divinity Library Special Collections hold many interesting images of late 19th- and early 20th-century life in Africa.
Yale Manuscripts & Archives hold many fascinating collections of posters, photographs, and more, such as this example from the Immanuel Wallerstein Collection of African Liberation Posters.
Photo by David E. Apter
Hausa headman in Ashanti, Kumasi, Central Gold Coast, 1952-1953
Photo by Casimir Zagourski
M'Bouaka child in Province de l'Equateur
The Manuscripts and Archives Department has a large collection of about 13,000 postcards from Africa. The postcards are arranged by country or region, and date from the beginning of the 20th century. Many were produced during the period of European colonization, and many were even printed in Europe—mostly France, Germany and Italy.
While many postcards were used for correspondence and thus reproduce Western ideas of Africa and Africans (in addition to their philatelic interest), others, such as the famed Zagourski postcards, were never mailed but collected for other reasons. Many of the card images were taken and/or produced by skilled photographers/publishers such as Ern. Thill, G. Lerat, Peter Freres, and Rene Moreau. Themes cover a wide spectrum of topics, providing a fascinating resource for students of ethnography, historical geography, environmental history, and cultural practices.