The Erwin H. Richards papers consist of one scrapbook which documents
his missionary activity in Portuguese East Africa. While the majority
of photographs in this scrapbook are not described with standard
descriptive elements (date, name of individual or place depicted),
the images nonetheless provide a good pictorial representation
of missionary life in the late 19th century. These photographs
not only document the lives of Richards’ and his family members,
but also highlight the many African friends Richards made during
his travels. Several different photographs of the same African
family appear throughout the scrapbook. A few photographs are accompanied
by printed text (author unidentified) which reveal a superior and
bemused attitude toward African peoples and their culture.
The collection also consists of writings that contain biographical
information of Richards Family members. Included are an unpublished
autobiography of Dorothy Reinhardt (daughter of Erwin Richards),
1972, a biography of Erwin Richards by Helen Louise Richards
Hantower (daughter of Erwin Richards), 1991, and a paper by Carolyn
concerning the collection of Reverend Frank D. Wolf and Dr. Edith
Wolf at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The collection
consists of objects from the Thonga tribe in Inhambane; the same
people that the Richards Family encountered.
Finally, the collection contains typescript copies of Richards
Family correspondence that concern Erwin H. Richards.