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What can you find in our archives?
Materials stored in the archive are generally for consultation only, and can be fetched by completing a form at the issue desk or by completing a form online in advance of your visit.
Items that need to be fetched are indicated on iDiscover by the following location information: African Studies Centre Library : Library Archive Store
Please see the archival collections listed in the box below to view details of what the team is currently working on to make available.
Take a look at our guest blogposts to keep up to date with progress: caslibraryblog
National & International Archives
- Archive Search - use this catalogue to find archival material elsewhere in the University. You can browse with keywords, and we recommend regions/country names.
- Buckley Collection (UL) The Buckley collection consists of around 350 19th-century books on central and southern Africa collected by T.E. Buckley and bequeathed to the University in 1903. This collection is on deposit from the Balfour Library, Museum of Zoology. Enquiries to the Rare Books Reading Room.
- Cambridge University Digital Library (CUDL) hosts stunning images of items held in Cambridge, particularly the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Collection
- Churchill Archives Centre Hosts over 600 archive collections, including the Churchill Papers.
- Near & Middle Eastern Collections (UL) The University Library's Near and Middle Eastern Collections include written materials originating from the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, the countries of the wider Middle East and the Islamic regions of North Africa and Central Asia. Includes Coptic & Ethiopic materials.
- Robert Howes donation on the Portuguese revolution and colonial wars (UL) 'Portuguese colonial wars literature features strongly. There are books of fiction and memoirs produced by former Portuguese soldiers about their experiences in the anti-guerrilla wars in Angola, Mozambique and Guiné-Bissau in the 1960s and 1970s. There are also a few works by African writers, including some major anthologies and academic studies.'
- Rosenthal Collection (UL) The private research library of Africana formed by the South African historian Eric Rosenthal, acquired in 1987. 18th- 20th century materials, chiefly English, Afrikaans, and German. Please make any enquiries in the Rare Books Reading Room.
- Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Collection A treasure-trove of information, pictorial and written, print and manuscript, on the Commonwealth and Britain's former colonial territories, comprising over 300,000 printed items, about 800 archival collections (including manuscript diaries, correspondence, pictures, cine films, scrapbooks and newspaper cuttings) and over 120,000 photographs.
- Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) the archive and library of this society are held within the Rare Books and Manuscripts Departments at the UL.
- Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives (AAM) Print archives are held at Oxford in the Bodleian, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Glasgow Caledonian University. The website includes video, and documents for download.
- Archives Hub The Archives Hub provides a gateway to many of the UK's richest historical archives. Search across descriptions of archives from over 1,000 years of history, held at over 300 institutions across the UK.
- The British Library is a rich resource for manuscripts and archives relating to Africa in western languages, Arabic, and African scripts and languages.
- British Empire & Commonwealth Collection (Bristol). This major collection covers a wide range of material relating to the countries of the British Empire and the Commonwealth and includes manuscripts, objects, photographs, film and sound archives. See their celebrated online exhibition: Empire through a lens
- National Register of Archives The National Register of Archives (Discovery platform) holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download.
- Oxford - The Weston Library has circa 2600 manuscript and archive collections relating to Africa and is particularly strong in material relating to the history of British colonial administration. Use their comprehensive African Studies LibGuide to discover more
- SOAS - The collections at SOAS (London) reflect the British interaction with Africa and Asia over the last 250 years.
- Africa Research Central (in English & French) An extensive database on African studies archives / libraries / museums and a database of repository wish lists. Provides access conditions, restrictions, important holdings, collection size, year founded, publications, references, related sites. Maintained by Prof. Kathryn Green and Dr. Susan Tschabrun at California State University, Fullerton.
- African Activist Archive The African Activist Archive is preserving and making available online the records of activism in the United States and elsewhere to support the struggles of African peoples against colonialism, apartheid, and social injustice from the 1950s through the 1990s.
- Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP) CAMP promotes the preservation of publications and archives concerning Sub-Saharan Africa. CAMP also aims to make these materials in microform available to researchers; we hold a subscription, please come and ask us if there is material you would like to access.
International Council on Archives The ICA is dedicated to the effective management of records and the preservation, care and use of the world's archival heritage through its representation of records and archive professionals across the globe. Archives are listed by region, and the organistion includes the following regional branches:
WARBICA - West African Regional Branch
CENARBICA - Central Africa Regional Branch
ESARBICA - Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch
- South African History Archive (SAHA) (Johannesburg) SAHA's archival collections are largely made up of documents, posters, photographs, ephemera and oral histories donated to SAHA by individuals and organizations involved in past and ongoing struggles for justice in South Africa.
Dr W. C. Block Donation
Dr. W. C. Block Donated Materials (Hannah Stanton and Dr. Margaret Keay)
Collection of materials provided by Dr. William Block relating to Ms. Hannah Stanton and Dr. Margaret Keay.
Hannah Stanton (1913-1993) was a missionary and anti-apartheid activist. She graduated from Oxford in 1956, subsequently travelling to South Africa.
Dr. Margaret Keay (1911-1998) was a plant pathologist born in Pretoria, South Africa. She studied and worked in Cambridge at the Botany School of Newnham in Mycology and plant pathology.
Church Missionary Intelligencer 1876-1901
Church Missionary Intelligencer: extracts 1876-1901 concerning Uganda. A collection of extracts compiled by Professor D. A. Low (Emeritus Smuts Professor of History of the British Commonwealth, Cambridge). They are taken from the journal “Church Missionary Intelligencer” and were specifically selected by him for their connection to the region that would become the British Uganda Protectorate in 1894. See the following blogpost for more information: http://bit.ly/2j3JQaR
John Dunn - Published Materials (Ghana)
Published materials and reports on Ghana including: Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly (1968-1969). Parliamentary Debates (1969-1971). Economic Survey (1962-1969). Annual Reports Gold Coast (and later Ghana) Cocoa Marketing Board (1949-1965).
D. B. Ellison
A mixed collection of government documents, and literature regarding Nigerian dialects and languages (1911-1958) Grammars/vocabularies relate to the Northern region of Nigeria and include the Kanuri, Yoruba, Hausa and Fulani languages.
J. R. Farquharson
A collection of documents including: reports on the East African Railways; volumes of the East African Railways and Harbours Magazines (1957-60); a photo album of transport infrastructure in East Africa (1947-48); and an Atlas of the Tanganyika Territory (1948)
Dr Cherry Gertzel
Small collection of documents regarding politics and society in Uganda (1962-1985) These include: speeches by Milton Obote; documents from UNICEF about food availability in Karamoja in 1984; documents about the famine refugees in Mbarara; reactions to the famine and political crisis in Uganda; press cuttings from the Uganda Argus; and political pamphlets by the Uganda National Liberation Front.
Harold Ingram Papers
A collection of documents (1900-1961) including: Foreign Office and Colonial Office reports on Soviet involvement in Africa, Trade Unions; documents regarding Communist interest in Africa; correspondence relating to the future government of the German colonies.
Harold Ingram Mauritius Papers
Documents pertaining to Mauritius including: report of the Mauritius Royal Commission; publications of the Royal Alfred Observatory; treaties affecting Mauritius from 1810 to Independence in 1968.
G. I. Jones
Collection of documents focussing on Nigeria (in particular Eastern Nigeria) including: Bulletins of farm settlement schemes; annual reports of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (1963-1993)
Collection donated by Felicity Laws, daughter of John Burnett Laws who was employed by the Colonial Office as a Land Surveyor in Tanganyika. He went on to work as a surveyor on his own behalf and ran three farms as manager, eventually obtaining his own farm close to Babati. The collection contains Mr Laws’ photo albums and diaries which span the years 1923 to 1959.
Professor D. A. Low Collection
Collection of materials related to Uganda by Professor Donald Anthony Low (1927-2015). Professor Low was a historian of modern Africa, South Asia and the British Commonwealth, particularly decolonisation.
The focus of the collection is primarily on political and economic history in the colonial period and the eve of independence, possibly forming part of his research material for his book "The Mind of Buganda", and some essays in "Buganda in Modern History".
Guy Nicholas Papers
Guy Nicholas (1932-) is a French historian and sociologist, currently directing a course on the Islamic world at l’INALCO (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations). A focus of his research has been the history and contemporary politics of the Hausa people of Niger and northern Nigeria.
Dame Margery Perham Intelligence Reports
Small collection of Intelligence Reports on the following Nigerian Districts & Provinces: Ikot-Ekpene District, Itu District, Calabar Province, Ahoada Division, Ijebu Province, Awka & Oitsha Divisions.
D. W. Phillipson
Journal volumes from: Rhodesian History: The Journal of the Central Africa Historical Association; SUGIA, Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika; Nigerian Heritage. Annual Reports from the Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, and The National Museums Board of Zambia. Reports from the Rhodesian Schools Exploration Society (1953-1992)
Uganda MML Pirouet HW
Papers of Mary Margaret Louise Pirouet, 1925–2012. Born in Cape Town to missionary parents. After some years in England she returned to Africa, completing her PhD at Makerere University later published as Black Evangelists: The Spread of Christianity in Uganda (Rex Collings,1978).
Pirouet returned to the UK in the 1970s, in time to organise relief for Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin. Pirouet became Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Homerton College Cambridge 1978-89, and was part of the Management Committee of the Centre of African Studies.
Dr Hebe Welbourn
Collection donated by Dr Hebe Welbourn, and may be part of the donated documents described here at the CCCW Library: https://www.cccw.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/WEL-Welbourn.pdf.
Documents are kept and listed in original order of receipt and relate to the academic interests of Donald B. Welbourn (Hebe’s brother-in-law), Dr Hebe Welbourn, and her husband Reverend F. B. Welbourn.
Digitised archive collections at CAS