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The majority of these images of East Africa are in the Eric G. P&P Matson Photograph Supplementary Archive) In an unpublished typescript, provided by Arden Alexander of the Prints and Photographs Division, Eric Matson stated: “Another of the assignments I particularly enjoyed was a promotional photographic trip in 1936, to East Africa for the Imperial Airways (now BOAC). P&P Matson Photograph Collection, collection files). Eric Matson was not the only Westerner entranced by East Africa’s Swahili Coast.and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, which has rare aerial photos of the Mombasa coastline, as well as candid photos of the streets, structures and people of Zanzibar and Mombasa. On this trip, I followed the Nile southward, through the Sudan, to its source in Uganda, to the Murchison Falls and the Victoria Nile, and then went on to Kenya, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar.” (“Half a Century of Photography in the Bible Lands,” Eric G. The Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection also includes images from the early 20th century, such as one of the iconic images of Omani Sultan Sayyid Ali bin Hamud on the throne of Zanzibar.While not much is known about the journey Eric Matson took to East Africa, the following text was added to the records gleaned from the Matson Photo Service Catalog: East Africa copyright photos by G. Monotone, Finlay colour, and infra red photos, taken on a flight with Imperial Airways on a World Trunk route following the Nile from the Delta to the Victoria Nile and the Victoria Lake. “Photographic Catalogue of Bible Lands and Near East Countries including East Africa.” Jerusalem. The Omanis had a presence on the Swahili Coast dating from the 17th century, and by 1730 as Zanzibar emerged as the most important Swahili city an Omani governor was appointed there.
Photos from the Matson Collection show aerial views of Mombasa harbor, which in the early 20th century, was sparsely populated with buildings despite its importance as a hub for trade in gold, ivory and human cargo, coming from the interior of the continent. The Matson Collection came to the Library of Congress from photographer Eric Matson, who had immigrated to the United States in 1946.Additional information about the photographers, the collection and how it came to the Library of Congress can be found here.The Library of Congress also has in its General Collection holdings, two of the earliest English translations, from18, of “Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar: an Autobiography” by Emily Ruete, born Salme, Princess of Oman and Zanzibar (1844-1924).They show these important Swahili enclaves: Zanzibar and Mombasa Harbor, from the early 20th century from three major collections: The Eric G.and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection and the diverse Stereo Geographic File, which consists of photographs printed on stereograph cards intended to be viewed with a stereograph viewer (also known as a stereoscope and sometimes referred to as the stereogram or stereopticon). Vincenti in Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of then Tanganyika.