Some Additional Sources

Follows is a selection of materials relating to British Africa available from CRL. To discover more, browse CRL's catalog and Web site.


CRL's extensive collection of newspapers from world regions includes many English and indigenous language titles published in Sub-Saharan Africa during the colonial period. These provide a wealth of detail on the British presence on the continent. Some titles from South Africa with their years of coverage, for instance, are:

  • Cape Daily Telegraph, 1898-1908
  • The Cape Mercantile Advertiser, 1854-1889
  • Cape Times, 1876-1922
  • Kimberley Free Press, 1905-1907
  • Natal Mercury, 1869-1879

More can be found by performing a newspaper search in CRL's catalog by selecting a country from the drop-down menu box. Search results can be limited by language, year of publication, and country.

Official Gazettes

Many countries publish state-related newspapers, called official gazettes, which serve as the legal newspaper of record for the country. As such, gazettes often announce and publish new laws, decrees, regulations, and court decisions, and many contain official documentation on the economy, trade, employment, agricultural production, education, trademarks, and the entire gamut of governmental activities.

Gazettes can even be helpful in the study of literature as they frequently contain full-text narratives of literary awards. CRL has a database of Foreign Official Gazettes containing both its own official gazette collection and those held by six other major U.S. libraries. The database is searchable by name of country. CRL holds official gazettes for many current and former African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Sudan, and others. The combined database contains records for more than 100 African countries and territorial entities.

Other African Colonial Government Publications

Spanning the period 1808-1966, the major microfilm series Government Publications Relating to African Countries Prior to Independence covers the entire period of British colonial rule in Africa. Issued in parts covering various British protectorates, the sets contain annual reports, blue books, proceedings of national/legislative councils, as well as official gazettes together with supplements in which legislation, government notices and law reports were published. The companion series, Annual Departmental Reports Relating to African Countries Prior to Independence, contains official reports issued by various government departments in each country, including (for example) Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Medicine, Judicial, Police, and Public Works. CAMP has acquired a nearly complete collection of these resources, including such recent acquisitions as:

  • Annual departmental reports relating to Basutoland, 1924-1964/5
  • Government publications relating to Basutoland, 1868-1966
  • Government publications relating to Nyasaland, 1891-1964.

A complete list of sets from this series held by CAMP/CRL is available on the CRL web site. The microform set was published by Microform Academic Publishers.

British Government Archives and Papers

CRL also holds and makes available through interlibrary loan governmental resources such as the Irish University Press Series of British Parliamentary Papers, from the IUP Library of Fundamental Sourcebooks, a series of reprints of selected 19th-century British Parliamentary Papers. The Parliamentary Papers series has two subject groupings of specific interest on this topic. The first group consists of 70 volumes and deals only with the colonies in Africa (OCLC #73815). The second subject group consists of 95 volumes on the subject of the slave trade (OCLC #80017). Both subject groups provide important source material for the history of the African continent during the 1801 to 1899 period. Search the CRL catalog for individual titles from the series.

Additionally CRL holds many series sets containing material from England's National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) that deal with Africa. (Series sets not currently held by CRL are eligible for acquisition through the Demand Purchase Program).

CRL's significant holdings from England's National Archives include the following sets:

  • Cape of Good Hope Colony (Cape Colony), Original Correspondence, 1807-1910. Colonial Office (C.O.) 48. OCLC #77566090.
  • The Exploration and Colonization of Africa (1794-1844). OCLC #16765124. This set reproduces material from England's National Archives, C.O. 2 and C.O. 392.
  • Original Correspondence, 1753-1951. C.O. 96. Gold Coast. OCLC #37046594.
  • Original Correspondence. C.O. 167. Mauritius, 1778-1951 : Correspondence with the colonies, entry books and registers of correspondence. OCLC #52163113.
  • Original Correspondence. C.O. 179. Natal, 1846-1910. OCLC #52280855.
  • Griqualand West Register of Correspondence, 1875-1880. C.O 344. OCLC #52168715.
  • Original Correspondence. C.O. 526. South African Constabulary, 1902-1908. OCLC #52170130.
  • Original Correspondence. C.O. 551. Union of South Africa, 1910-1922. C.O. 551. OCLC #52171533.
  • Original Correspondence. C.O. 795. Northern Rhodesia, 1924-1951 : Correspondence with the colonies, entry books and registers of correspondence. OCLC #52163582.
  • Confidential Print. Africa, 1848-1961. C.O. 879. (Formerly C.O. 806.) OCLC #43649256.

Missions-Related Collections

Missionaries labored for many generations on the African continent and CRL holds many sets of collected papers and publications on microfilm that document their efforts.

  • The Archives of the Council for World Mission, 1775-1940. The archives of African missions date back to the late 18th century and continue into the first half of the 20th century. Microfilm produced by IDC Publishers, 1979-1983. OCLC #13949021.
  • Church Missionary Society. Records, 1803?-1914. This set consists of microfilm copies of the Committee of Correspondence minutes, 1799-1880, and includes correspondence and reports dealing with the African missions for most of the same period. Some correspondence extends into the 1930s. OCLC #24129044.
  • Church Missionary Society Archive. Section IV, Africa Missions. Reproduces papers of the Church Missionary Society spanning 1803-1949, held at the CMS Headquarters in London and the University of Birmingham Library; includes books of correspondence, reports, records, applications, journals, and minutes. Microfilm produced by Adam Matthew Publications, 1997. OCLC #42026096.
  • Methodist Missionary Society Archives, London. This set includes minutes, reports, and correspondence in manuscript and typescript of the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society, which merged with the United Methodist Missionary Society in 1932 to form the Methodist Missionary Society. Microfiche produced by IDC Publishers, 1981-1983. OCLC #20671919.

Miscellaneous Collections

In addition to newspapers and government-related materials, CRL holds many collections covering the history of England's involvement in Africa. The following sets illustrate the range of materials in the collection.

  • Boer War: Miscellaneous pamphlets published in Great Britain and the United States, 1899-1902. OCLC #24140278.
  • South Africa: The War of 1899-1902 and the Chinese Labour Question. This set contains pamphlets and articles on topics ranging from forced labor and slavery to the rights of the uitlander and the Boer War. OCLC #13838830.
  • The Sir Winston Churchill Papers: From the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Series 1-4. OCLC #56919873.