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Thomas Hills travel photograph albums

Identifier: WLU-Coll-0171

Content Description

This collection consists of five folio sized albums of photographs taken by Thomas Hills, professor and later chair of the Geology department at Vassar College. The photographs document his combined family vacation and academic research tour of the African continent, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean coast of Europe in 1929. While on the African continent, he documented the mining industry, general landscape, cities, villages, and indigenous peoples with stops in South Africa (and also Rhodesia), Uganda, Tanganyika (or Tanzania), Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Israel, Syria, and Italy. Specific African cities and provinces toured were Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Zululand, Jinja, Fort Portal, Kampala, Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, Khartoum, Omdurman, Aswan, Karnak, Luxor, and Cairo. African geological, historical and industrial points of interest included Victoria Falls, Lake Victoria, Lake Naviasha, Lake Kyoga, the Nile and White Nile Rivers, Kimberley (De Beers) diamond mines, the grave of Cecil Rhodes, Zambezi River, Congo River, the temples of Abu Simbel, the temples of Luxor, Egyptian pyramids, Baalbek ruins, Jaffa Gate, and the Avenue of Sphinxes. Hills also specifically photographed the Kikuyu people of Kenya, the Acholi of Uganda, the Shilluk of Sudan, Bedouins in Syria, and Zulus in South Africa.

During the Middle Eastern and European leg of the trip, Hills photographed Damascus, Pompeii, Amalfi, Naples, and Venice and specific historic sites including Michelangelo Square, St. Mark's Square, the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Grand Canal.


  • Creation: 1929

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The materials from Washington and Lee University Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with the source. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the Head of Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Thomas Hills was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on February 19, 1881. He graduated from the College of Wooster in 1902 and completed his graduate work at the University of Berlin in 1908. Hills worked at Vassar College from 1920-1948 as professor of Geology and Chair of the Geology Department. He died in 1970.


1.0 Linear Feet (1 archival record box)

Language of Materials


Physical Description

Photographs are gelatin silver prints.

Thomas Hills travel photograph albums
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Repository Details

Part of the Washington and Lee University, University Library Special Collections and Archives Repository

204 W. Washington St.
Lexington VA 24450 USA