British photographic history

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National Archives publish African photograph archive

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.

The images were transferred to The National Archives from the Colonial Office Library's photographic collection and offer a unique insight into life in the colonies. Approximately 10,000 images, a third of the entire collection, have been digitised so far.

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.

Oliver Morley, Acting Chief Executive of The National Archives, said: 'An online collection like this reaches beyond the academic world and into people's living rooms, enabling everyone to contribute to our understanding of past events.'

The 'Africa through a lens' collection is available now to view. Find out more and access the images here:  There is also a news report here:


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