The Centre of African Studies Library is pleased to announce that a ‘Description’ and detailed ‘Finding Aid’ are now available for the following archived resource via the library’s Libguide: http://libguides.cam.ac.uk/africanstudies/archives
The ‘Intelligencer’ was an annual publication pertaining mostly to missionaries and their activities published in London by the Church Missionary Society. As a source of reprinted private letters or extracts of official public statements, newspaper articles and parliamentary debates, their value to historians of religion or perhaps to the historiography of imperialism are significant.
Letter from Alexander Murdoch Mackay inspired by the legendary exploits of Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley; reprinted in the Church Missionary Intelligencer (May 1890, p.318). The section is entitled ‘Alexander Mackay in Memoriam’ and was written soon after his passing away on February 4th, 1890, near the southern shores of Lake Victoria. He had died from a malarial fever.
What has recently been named ‘Extracts concerning Uganda’ were originally compiled by the late Professor D. A. Low. They were selected by him for their connection to the region that would become the British Uganda Protectorate in 1894 and are distinguished by their unique collection of material from historical sources spanning a significant period in the history of Uganda. This resource consists mostly of reprinted correspondence (often with introductions and commentaries by the various editors) and begins with a proposal for one of the earliest of the organized missions to the area around Lake Victoria.
Professor D.A. Low was the Emeritus Smuts Professor of History of the British Commonwealth at the University of Cambridge. During his academic career, he published many works on imperialism (and the nationalist struggles that followed) including the following:
Low, D.A. (2009) Fabrication of Empire: the British and the Uganda Kingdoms, 1890-1902 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
His collection of extracts is thus valued and have been preserved in the Centre of African Studies Library archives. They are an extremely useful resource available to students and researchers upon request. Indeed, I was recently required to delve into this wonderful collection myself when researching and compiling the associated ‘description and finding aid’ for library users. The roller-coaster ride of events contained within certainly proved enlightening: a steady stream of observations and proposals rapidly appeared to gain momentum, building quickly to an ominous river in my mind as I followed the turbulence of Ugandan history; through those Western eyes at least. Although they only form part of the story, some of the letters are written with a certain passion and wit that excites the imagination or perhaps the latent adventurer that may lurk within us all: and it was interesting to note that the words of those first courageous men – that had accepted the fateful recommendation of Henry Morton Stanley to save the Kingdom of Buganda, ‘Pearl of Africa’ – are later joined by a trickle of female voices, clamouring to be heard.
Guest Blogger: David Radcliffe
(David currently works for the Centre of South Asian Studies Library via Cambridge University’s Temporary Employment Service. He is also currently a volunteer at the Centre of African Studies Library.)