Collection of albumen prints mounted on thick cards, originally contained in four slip-cases discarded after war damage, but the subdivisions A, B, C and D have been retained in the list. They are captioned in clear handwriting. The photographs include the work of the Church of Scotland Mission, the Free Church of Scotland Mission and the African Lakes Company, as well as many of the prominent Yao, Angoni and Makololo chiefs.
Thomas Joseph Last (1847-1933) who undertook an expedition to Nyasaland in 1885-86 appears in several of the photographs. His expedition is scantily documented, but research at the Royal Geographical Society confirms the view that he was not the photographer and the likelihood is that the photographs were taken by A.G.S. Hawes, who was Consul in the area at the time, accompanied T.J. Last on some of his journeys and was later in Zanzibar, the subject of some of the photographs
Albert George Sydney Hawes served in the Royal Marines from 1859-1869 and spent thirteen years in Japanese service before being appointed Consul for the territories of the African Kings and Chiefs in the districts adjacent to Lake Nyasa in January 1885. He was on special duties in Zanzibar from 1888-1889 until transferred to the Pacific as Consul to the Society Islands in October 1889. He died in Hito on 6 August 1897.
Given to the Royal Empire Society by the Royal African Society in 1944.