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Photographs of Ghana and Nigeria

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30448G

Scope and Contents

A collection of prints and negatives chiefly taken by Frank E. Joselin while on the staff of Achimota College, Ghana, between Jan. 1930 and Nov. 1947. This material falls into five groups: aerial views of Achimota taken in Jan.1931, later views including some taken from the tower, scenes following the Accra earthquake of 23 June 1939, the visit of the Asantehene in 1946, and portraits of the college’s first principal Rev. Alexander Garden Fraser and Assistant Vice Principal J.E.K. Aggrey. Contact prints have been made of negatives for which there was no print in the collection as presented. The titles and notes on the photographs are chiefly derived from Joselin's captions and correspondence, but use has also been made of the ‘Achimota Annual Reports’ for 1931 and 1932 in which some of these photographs were reproduced. Titles created by the cataloguer are enclosed in square brackets.

Y30448G/19-43 relate to the Accra Earthquake, which took place on 23 June 1939 at approximately 7.20p.m. The epicentre was near the Accra Waterworks at Weija, some 7 miles west of Accra. At the waterworks there were 2 reservoirs, each holding one month's supply of water for Accra and Achimota, 30 million gallons, and treatment tanks on the top of a small nearby hill, some 200 ft high. The fault line ran diagonally across one of the reservoirs, cracking the cement lining and leaving one side of the crack 12"-18" higher than the other. Each of the treatment tanks holds some 30,000 gallons of water, and the tank supports were badly cracked; fortunately enough hefty baulks of timber were rushed to the site, and the tanks were shored up until they could be properly repaired. But a month's supply of treated water had been lost. Y30448G/19-24 relate to these reservoirs. The top section of the clock tower at Achimota, carrying the four dials, was cracked all round and shifted laterally nearly half an inch. There are no photographs of this, but Y30448G/25 shows a damaged archway. The remaining photographs are of Accra, and the location is identified on a sketch map provided by Joselin. All are contact prints. 90 x 60 mm. Y30448G/33 is modern.

Y30448G/44-58 relate to the visit of the Asantehene in 1946. ‘This visit is believed to be an historical one, because by ancient tradition a ruling Asantehene was never allowed to leave the boundaries of Ashanti’, Joselin. This was Prempeh II, 1892-1970, who became Asantehene when the British restored the Ashanti Union in 1935. In most of these photographs Mr A.H.R. Joseph, the Acting Principal, is seen accompanying or addressing the Asantehene.

In April 1986, Joselin presented a second batch of material including 25 photographs of varying sizes, 21 negatives and 7 glass slides measuring 50 x 50 mm. and 20 35mm. transparencies. These images relate to Ghana and Nigeria, and date from the 1930s, 1945 and 1957-1961.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1961


Conditions Governing Access

Y30448G/60, 86-114 and 118-19 are missing.


.01 cubic metre(s) (1 folder containing 159 images and 1 volume) : photograph

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

generally good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Mr Frank E. Joselin in April 1982.

Related Materials

For further material on Achimota see Y30448H and Y30448I.


This collection level description was entered by SG and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Joselin, Frank E, fl 1930-1947

Includes index.
2004-09-30 10:45:41+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom