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German East Africa photograph collection.

Identifier: MSS 639

Content Description

Album of 94 photographs taken in German East Africa along the Tanganyika Railway or Central Line. Photographs were likely taken by a German engineer or a high-ranking worker on the railway. Photos in the collection document the construction of the railway, including images of the German engineers' camps, different sections of the line, bridges, locomotives, an accident, native workers, and several stations, including Msua, Ngerengere, Kigwe, Saranda, and Tabora. Several photos depict German workers, including the likely photographer, with Catholic missionaries, participating in daily life, and working. More photographs depict local villages and peoples and several images of Dar es Salaam (including the habour, streetviews, and Catholic Saint Joseph's Metropolitan Cathedral).


  • Creation: 1904 - 1912

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania) was a German colony from 1885 until the end of World War One, in 1918, when it became a British colony. The Tanganyika Railway, or Central Line, was constructed from 1904 to 1914 and stretched from Dar es Salaam (at the time the capital) to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika, via Morogoro, Dodoma, Manyoni, and Tobora.


94 Photographic Prints (1 box) : Oblong folio (25 x 32.5 cm) of 12 stiff light green album leaves. 94 mounted original gelatin silver photographs, each 8.5 x 11 cm and one larger photo of 12 x 15.5 cm. Original green half cloth album with papered boards and gilt lettered title on the front cover. ; Oblong folio (25 x 32.5 cm) - 94 mounted original gelatin silver photographs, each 8.5 x 11 cm and one larger photo of 12 x 15.5 cm.

Language of Materials



The collection has been left mounted in its original scrapbook.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased by Jessica Achberger in 2018.

Processing Information

Jessica Achberger processed this collection in 2018.

German East Africa historical photograph collection.
4 Published And Cataloged
Jessica Achberger
June 27, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA