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Finding Images and Other Visual Resources: African Studies

There are more ways to find interesting and useful images than Flickr and Google Image search. Learn how and where!


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

Sub-Saharan Africa

 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.


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 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


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


Archaeological holdings from Africa consist primarily of Egyptian and Nubian artifacts excavated by George Reisner and excavations at  related sites in Libya and Sudan. Early nineteenth-century items came into the Museum from the Boston Museum collection and early Boston seafarers. Major collections were created for the Museum in the twentieth century in Liberia, southern Cameroon, and Uganda. Among these are masks, ceramics, textiles, baskets, and ritual objects. Important hominin cast collections were made in the twentieth century.


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


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

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.