Fonds ALMW_II._BA - Picture archive

Identity area

Reference code



Picture archive


Level of description


Extent and medium

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

An exhibition of the Institute for African Studies of the University of Leipzig "Wie in einem tarüben Spiegel - Ostafrika-Fotografie der Leipziger Mission, 1896-1939, aus dem Archiv des LMW" (40 pictures, 25 of them in large format, as well as 15 panels with photos and explanatory text) was realized as a student project under the direction of Professor Jones in summer 2011. In 2013 Professor Jones published a revised and mainly textually extended version of the exhibition entitled "Through a Glass, Darkly - Photographs of the Leipzig Mission from East Africa, 1896-1939" (in English; ISBN 978-3-86583-777-6), published by Leipziger Universitätsverlag. The ethnologically as well as religiously and mission-historically very valuable pictorial material (about 1500 photos) from South India (Tamil Nadu) was processed primarily in the context of a student project of the Institute for Indology of the University of Leipzig. Revision and updating of the material as well as publication (analogous to the ULPA volumes as catalogue) and internet presentation could not yet be realized. However, around 200 pictures have already been published in the brochure "Fascination in Black and White; Historical Photographs of India from the Picture Archive of the Leipzig Mission", divided into topics and explained with text contributions (ISBN 978-3-00-020975-8, distributed by the LMW) and can be borrowed as exhibition boards. But also the more recent picture archive stock (after 1940, mostly slides) from our fields of work in India, Tanzania and PNG offers a lot of unprocessed source material, not only for mission historical research.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The picture archive of the Evangelisch-Lutherischer Missionswerk Leipzig e.V. contains materials from the Leipzig Mission (from 1840 - photos from 1860 - to 1989), from its former branch offices as well as from the current LMW, the publishing house of the Evangelisch-Lutherischer Mission zu Leipzig (until 1945) and from estates (from approx. 1830 until now):

  • - more than 10,000 historical photos and postcards (partly from 1840 - photos from 1860 - to 1989):
  • - more than 10,000 historical photos and postcards (partly from 1860 - to 1989). also their glass negatives and plan films); in albums according to regions, missionaries or as working material (e.g. portrait album (digitalized) and cliché album by Senior Handmann)), photos as single bundles without proofs, albums as gifts from bequests of strangers, missionaries or mission employees - mainly without indication of the picture authors, the places and the date of recording - sample sheets (with approx. 340 prints) and printing blocks (not yet recorded) from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century
  • - historical maps, graphics, prints, hand drawings and watercolours (not yet recorded), 20 Micas (digitally recorded)
  • - historical glass slides after old photos, partly coloured - early 20th century The archive contains approx. 60,000 slides (mostly after 1945, not yet updated, i.e. duplicates not sorted out) and not digitized
  • - approx. 175 old tapes and approx. 20 film rolls (mostly after 1945). Approximately 3,400 historical photos from the East African mission area (approx. 1895 until 1940). This work has been and will be continued under the direction of Professor Dr. Adam Jones from the Institute of African Studies at the University of Leipzig within the framework of projects published as ULPA volumes (No. 6, 7, 16, 19 and 27) and is part of the database IMPA (Internet Mission Photography Archive), accessible at

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Evangelical Lutheran Mission Leipzig

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

The Evangelisch-Lutherischer Missionswerk Leipzig e.V. reserves all rights of reproduction and distribution of the pictures. Without the written permission of the Evangelisch-Lutherischer Missionswerk Leipzig e.V. they may not be reproduced, processed or duplicated using electronic systems. Contact address for inquiries:

Language of material

  • German

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area


Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area