Beinecke Library

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The collection, assembled by the rare book dealers Jenny Allsworth and Humphrey Winterton, brings together photographs, photograph albums, glass lantern slides, and a lantern projector, which document the Sultanate of Zanzibar and European colonial expansion in East and Central Africa from 1870 to 1914. Also documented are early Arab and Portuguese coastal settlements at Kilwa, Mafia, Pemba, Sofala, and Zanzibar and the work of photographers who operated in different parts of the region.

Letter to “Capt. Nathaniel Briggs. Master of the Ship the Three Friends favourd by Capt. Duncan, on the Coast of Africa,” with a long postscript, unsigned, by another hand. The contents relate to the trade in African slaves.

Holograph manuscript containing copies of letters sent by William Codrington to his agents in Antigua and Barbuda from 1779 to 1782 concerning the management of his estates and accounts, the employment of servants and slaves, the sugar trade, and the effects of war on contact with the West Indies.

Holograph diary addressed to “Meg,” narrating Leveson-Gower’s experiences as a Grenadier Guard, including a voyage to the West Indies and his impressions of slavery there. Illustrated with several drawings and watercolors of ships and scenery.

Amassed by Frederick Hill Meserve with the help of his daughter Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt, the collection contains more than 73,000 items, including 57,000 photographic prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides. These materials document American history from the Civil War through the end of the 19th century and record the emergence of photography as a distinctive cultural practice. The collection’s significance also lies in the tens of thousands of portraits of American politicians, army officers (of both the Union and Confederate forces), writers, actors, singers, scientists, African Americans, and Native Americans.

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