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Image Resources: African Studies

Yale University's Arts Library Digital Services guide to digital image resources.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds (University of Wisconsin)

Africa Focus brings together, in digital form, two categories of primary and secondary resources: research and teaching materials collected by University of Wisconsin faculty and staff; and unique or valuable items related to these fields held by the University of Wisconsin Libraries. This collection contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, and 50 hours of sounds from forty-five different countries.

Afrika Museum

The Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal, The Netherlands, is devoted exclusively to the collection, study and exhibition of African art. The collection is divided into categories dealing with 'object type', with geographic collection area (eg Africa, Asia) and cultural origin (nations, eg Yoruba). 


Aluka is an international, collaborative initiative building a digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. At present, three collections are under development, each built around a common theme: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes: Documentation of heritage sites; African Plants: Type specimens of all African plants linked to a wide range of related images and data, including photographs, drawings, botanical art, field notes, published flora, and other reference works;  Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa: Documentation of the liberation struggles in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, including archival materials, periodicals, oral histories, books, and photographs.

Art and Life in Africa (The Stanley Collection of African Art, University of Iowa)

Art and Life in Africa Online contains information about African Art and Culture. Some of the material on this site has been adapted from similar material developed for the Art and Life in Africa CD-Rom being produced at The University of Iowa. Additionally, some material is specific to this site (and not found on the CD), as noted below


Art History Resources on the Web: African Art

A rich collection of Web-based resources covering all areas of Art History, developed and maintained by Prof. Christopher Witcombe

National Museum of African Art

The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, features African art from antiquity to the present.

Stanley Collection (University of Iowa)

Traditional Sub-Saharan arts of Africa, images available through the University of Iowa Museum of Art Web site and through the University of Iowa Library Digital Collections

Yale University Art Gallery: Ross Archive of African Images

The Ross Archive of African Images is a comprehensive database of over 7,000 images. RAAI aspires to reproduce all the illustrations of figurative African objects published between 1800 and 1920 in books, periodicals, catalogues, newspapers, and other publications. It does not include postcards or pamphlets of very limited distribution. More than 95% of the material here is contained in the James J. Ross library, the remainder has been recorded from copies in other libraries.

Yale University Art Gallery: Guy van Rijn Archive of African Art 

Beginning Auigust, 2012, this collection will be accessible through the Yale University Library Digital Collections search

Yale University, Peabody Museum

The Yale Peabody Museum’s African ethnographic collection in the Division of Anthropology is an assemblage of more than 3,000 artifacts that includes items such as baskets, masks, agricultural tools, weapons, jewelry, figurines, furniture and clothing. Many were collected in Kenya in the 1960s and 1970s. Among the most interesting are the materials collected over 20 years by William and Irene Morden.


The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, developed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is an exploration of the history of art from around the world as illustrated by The Museum's collection. Click here to explore the arts of Africa.

Exhibition Web site: American Museum of Natural History, Congo Expedition, 1909-1915, a rich multi-media resource