Opening the Angus Library Seminar 11 April 2024

Date: 11th Apr 2024

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

You are warmly invited to the first of our Spring series of ‘Opening the Angus’ online seminars, when Dr Amy King will be speaking about her work using the marvellous photographic archive of the Baptist Missionary Society, which is held in the Angus Library.

Dr King’s talk, ‘The Photographic Archive of the Upoto Mission, Congo Free State: Some Reflections on Using Visual Sources to Expand Mission Histories’ will take place online on the 11th of April at 7.30.

To register (for free, to obtain Zoom login details), please go to

“This talk will reflect upon my doctoral research undertaken at the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia, exploring the photographic archive of Upoto, a Baptist Missionary Society station established in what was the northern Congo Free State in 1890. My thesis was titled: ‘Visual Testaments: Re-collecting the Photographic Archive of the Upoto Mission 1890 – 1915’. This research project drew upon the unusually rich photographic sources connected with the missionaries who were stationed there in order to interrogate the historical evidence they contain. Methodologically I was interested in how this visual evidence worked with and against different kinds of textual and material sources which have survived from Upoto outside of Africa. My research was concerned with the kinds of unique historical evidence that photographs contain, and what visual sources can contribute to our understanding of the past. My doctoral thesis interrogated the visual strategies through which mission work at Upoto was represented for audiences in Britain in the late nineteenth century and the tensions between the public narratives of evangelical work and more privately documented experiences. It also examined the diverse, complex and evolving relationships between British missionaries and local Bapoto and Bangombe people at Upoto as the Christian community was established. My original study of the missionary archive from Upoto has generated new insights into the presence, actions and experiences of Congolese people who lived at Upoto during a period of immense social and cultural upheaval brought by colonialism”.