The collection consists of 38 color transparencies, 648 color slides and 10 black-and-white photographic prints taken by Lynn McLaren Demarest while on assignment for various news outlets in the 1950s and 1960s. A majority of the slides and transparencies were taken in East Africa and document indigenous peoples, agriculture (cotton in particular), health and nutrition education, UNICEF activities, architecture, natural landscapes, animals, fishers, coffee plantations and the sisal industry. Locations include Mobassa, Lamu Island, Zanzibar, Dar es Saalam, Lake Victoria, Mount Kilimajaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Mikumi National Park (Tanzania). The black-and-white photographs depict East African leaders, such as Julius Nyerere, and prominent international visitors to the region, including Robert Kennedy. A small number of slides and transparencies were taken in India.
Arrangement reflects the original order established by the photographer.
Lynn McLaren (1922-2008) was a professional photojournalist who worked on assignment for National Geographic, Life, Newsweek and Business Week since the 1950s and 1960s. A member of the Society of Women Geographers, McLaren lived and traveled extensively around the world, photographing peoples and places in Kenya, Tanzania (Zanzibar), India, Nepal, Spain, Germany and the United States. McLaren was also the author of five books, including Berlin and the Berliners and The Village: The People (India), all of which are richly illustrated with her photographs. In 2007, she had a major retrospective of her photography, Fifty Years of Photographs from Around the World, at the Marion Art Center in Marion, Massachusetts.