The James J. Ross Archive of African Images, 1590-1920 (RAAI), has been launched at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. This unique archive, accessible at http://raai.library.yale.edu/, contains approximately 5,000 illustrations of African art published before 1921. RAAI is a work in progress, aspiring to include every African object that has appeared in a book, periodical, catalogue, newspaper, or other source published in or before 1920. The majority of entries date between 1800 and 1920, a period of heightened international presence in Africa. As trade increased between Africa and the West in the early 19th century, voyagers from the West began intensively recording and collecting the material culture of the African coastline. After 1920, an enormous profusion of collecting, exhibiting, and publishing created a flood of images and a whole new regard for African art.RAAI is a collection of rich historical data and extensively catalogued and annotated images. Images include prints, drawings, paintings, and photographs of objects from a range of contexts: in situ in the original performance context, in exhibitions, in casual snapshots, and in studio photography. Its historical sources afford exceptional insight into early European and American views-both literal and figurative-of Africa's art.