Austrian-born Oskar Baumann (1864-99), despite the shortness of his life, was a man of many roles; cartographer, explorer, colonial administrator, diplomat and, as shown here, a diligent chronicler and author. He first went to Africa in 1885 as a member of the Austrian Congo Expedition headed by Dr. O. Lenz. This expedition also explored the island of Fernando-Po as well as visiting Madeira, Liberia, Cameroon and Gabon. In 1888 Baumann joined the expedition to Usambara in Northeast German East Africa, headed by the renowned German explorer Dr. Hans Meyer, the first European successfully to complete the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Baumann’s account of the Usambara Expedition was published in 1890 in Vienna under the title In Deutsch-Ostafrika während des Aufstandes. Reise der Dr. Hans Meyer’schen Expedition in Usambara . Baumann’s second journey to Usambara was undertaken in 1891-3, under the auspices of the German East Africa Company. His account of this expedition was published in 1891 in Berlin, under the title, ‘Usambara und Seine Nachbargebeite’. In 1891-3, Baumann journeyed from Pangani through Masailand to Ruanda and Urundi (then an integral part of G.E.A.) as the agent of the German Anti-Slavery Committee. The account of that journey, Durch Masailand zur Nilquelle , was published in 1894, also in Berlin. From 1895 to 1898 Baumann resided in Zanzibar where he served as the Austro-Hungarian Consul, a position previously held by William O’Swald. During that time he made several journeys around the islands and mainland coastal areas which were under the rule of the Sultan of Zanzibar. The photographs in the Baumann portfolio relate to this period. His cartographic work Der Sansibar Archipel was published in three parts (1896, 1897 & 1899) in the Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichen des Vereins fur Erdkunde zu Leipzig A final work, Afrikanische Skizzen , was published posthumously in 1900, Baumann having died Oct. 12, 1899.
1 folder (1 folder, containing 38 prints) : 38 silver prints (each 18 x 13.5 cm.), mounted on card (30.5 x 24 cm.); all the images are captioned in German; each mount with a cancelled ink library stamp; in excellent condition; contained in the original custom blue cloth folder, with side flaps and a buttoned leather clasp, the title and photographer blocked in gilt on the upper cover, now housed in a black half morocco solander box.