The Life and Work of Rev. William E. Taylor (1856-1927)

By Special Collections|5th October 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

In this blog, we discuss the life and work of the late Reverend William E. Taylor of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), who collected together many Swahili manuscripts while he was stationed in Mombasa, on the Kenyan Coast, during the late 19th century/early 20th century. Rev. William E. Taylor was considered one of the greatest Swahili scholars, according to the late Sheikh Yahya Ali Omar and Peter Frankl who wrote about Taylor’s

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The Legacies of Jean Boyd (1934-2022) and Nana Asma’u Fodio (1793-1864)

By Special Collections|9th May 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

In this blog we celebrate the life and work of the late scholar Jean Boyd (1934-2022) and the poet Nana Asma’u Fodio (1793-1864). Jean Boyd who was a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, 1990, as well as having served as an Education Officer in the Colonial Service in Nigeria (1955-1960) and following Independence worked for the Nigerian Public Service (1960-1984). Jean Boyd spent 25 years

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Part 3/ Cook Islander missionaries: recovering hidden histories from missionary archives: Isaia Papehia’s travels in Britain

By Special Collections|28th March 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

Continuing our short series of blogs looking at the instrumental and largely forgotten role of indigenous Cook Islanders in the evangelisation of the Pacific region from the early 19th century, and research which is rediscovering evidence of the personal histories of these men and women found in European missionary archives. This week’s guest blog comes from Rod Dixon (Mangaia, Cook Islands), who shares his research into the overseas experiences of Isaia Papehia

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Hidden histories: the contribution of Yahya Ali Omar to the development of Swahili studies in Europe

By Special Collections|14th March 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at the life and academic contribution of the late Yahya Ali Omar (1924-2008), who was one of the greatest Swahili scholars, but one of the most overlooked within academic writing. We also highlight an important collection of manuscripts that he assembled, which are now held by SOAS Special Collections. Yahya Ali Omar was an expert on the Swahili language and culture and provided incredible support in

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB393WtkFFM

Rediscovering Stencl

By SOAS Special Collections|15th November 2021|Collections & Research|0 comments

As a major project to digitise the papers of Abraham Nahum Stencl (1897-1983) draws to a close, we take a closer look at the collection and the work involved in increasing accessibility to this important Yiddish language resource. The papers of Abraham Nahum Stencl (PP MS 44) have been at SOAS since they were donated by his great niece in 1983. These include original writings by Stencl, as well as

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Locating Voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in 19th Century Missionary Periodicals

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|29th October 2021|Collections & Research|0 comments

Today’s blog comes from Dr Joanne Davis, Research Associate with the Centre of World Christianity at SOAS.  Following on from her last piece, Jo reflects on a period of research in SOAS Special Collections for a new project, ‘Recovering BIPOC Voices from the Victorian Periodical Press’, which establishes a publishing partnership between SOAS Special Collections, an open access digital humanities initiative One More Voice (onemorevoice.org) which is focused on recovering non-European contributions from Victorian-era British colonial archives, and

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Part 2/ Cook Islander missionaries: recovering hidden histories from missionary archives

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|18th October 2021|Collections & Research|2 comments

This week’s blog marks celebrations of the bicentenary of the arrival of the Christian gospel in the Cook Islands taking place in Aitutaki this month, and picks up from our previous blog which looked at the instrumental and largely forgotten role of indigenous Cook Islanders in the evangelisation of the Pacific region from the early 19th century, and new research which is rediscovering evidence of the personal histories of these men and women

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Women’s History Month 2021: NoSuthu Soga Jotelo and the One More Voice Project

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|8th March 2021|Collections & Research|5 comments

To mark International Women’s Day, today’s blog comes from Dr Joanne Davis, an African literary scholar, whose research on Reverend Tiyo ‘Zisani’ Soga has led her to archives across the world. In uncovering and examining a unique letter by Soga’s mother, NoSuthu Soga Jotelo, Joanne has made a fascinating contribution to a new and developing online resource, One More Voice. This International Women’s History Month, SOAS Special Collections presents a new

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Season’s Greetings

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|20th December 2020|Collections & Research|0 comments

It’s been a tough old year all round so for this blog we are going to take a light-hearted tour of some of the seasonal items in our collections to try and get us into the holiday spirit. The very first Christmas card was sent in 1843. These were expensive though, and it wasn’t until 1875 when they became mass produced that people began regularly sending them to loved ones

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Frederick Maze

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|5th November 2020|Collections & Research|

Frederick Maze (1871-1959) was the fourth, and last, British Inspector General of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. Committed to preserving a unified customs service, Maze guided the Chinese Maritime Customs Service through a period of great upheaval in China’s history, successfully implementing a series of reforms which served to reshape the service. Born in Belfast, Maze entered the Customs Service in 1891, and became in 1899 the Acting Audit Secretary

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