Moths & Insects

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|August 9, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

In the heat of the summer, one of our researchers found these beautiful illustrations of moths and insects in an album held in one of our library collections.  The album, entitled ‘Album of Paintings of Insects: Moths’, contains watercolour illustrations of moths and other insects (reference: CWML MSS 506). Dating from the early 19th century, an ornate label adhered to the inside cover identifies these as being produced by the

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David Storm Rice’s photographs of Harran

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|July 30, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at David Storm Rice’s photographs of archaeological excavations at Harran, Turkey, in the 1950s. This recently catalogued collection joins Rice’s papers catalogued last year, and together the two collections provide insight into the scope of his work on the site at Harran. Professor David Storm Rice (1913-1962), an academic at SOAS, made four expeditions to Harran between 1951 and 1959. His records of the expeditions are

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A Customs Officer’s view of China: the photographs of R.F.C. Hedgeland

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|June 7, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at the photographs of Reginald Hedgeland, an officer with the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. Throughout over thirty years of service across China, Hedgeland photographed the work of the Customs Service and his domestic and social life, giving an insight into the life of a Customs officer. Reginald Follett Codrington Hedgeland was born in Exeter, Devon on 18 December 1874. He joined the Chinese Maritime Customs Service

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A Russian’s view of China, 1861-1864

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|May 14, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

Continuing our theme of historical photographs of China in the archive collections held by SOAS Library, this week’s blog looks at an interesting set of photographs taken by a Russian photographer in Beijing in the years 1861-1864, found in the London Missionary Society archive. The photographer is unidentified, but the collection intriguingly includes his self-portrait. The set of 37 sepia prints dating from c.1861-1864, includes a number of striking individual and group portraits

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John Charles Oswald’s photographs of China

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|April 23, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

Continuing our series on historical photographs of China, this week’s blog looks at John Oswald’s photographs of Foochow [Fuzhou]. His photographs document the home, work and social life of a British tea merchant living in a treaty port. John Charles Oswald (1857-1930) arrived in Foochow in the late 1880s, having worked for a tea importer in London for thirteen years. Initially working for Odell & Co. as a clerk, he

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New donation: Photographs of the Roberts Memorial Hospital, China

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|April 3, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at a new donation of photograph albums received by SOAS Archives, offering a glimpse of life in a mission hospital in North China at the beginning of the 20th century, in the immediate aftermath of the Boxer Uprising[1].  The six captioned photograph albums (reference: MS 381326), dating from c.1902-1908, contain black & white prints and also cyanotypes with a blue image hue, which picture the ‘Roberts

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Women’s History Month 2018: Lilias Trotter

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|March 8, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

SOAS Archives are rich in the life-stories of individual women. To mark International Women’s Day 2018, we take a look at the life and work of Lilias Trotter (1853-1928), a talented artist who became a missionary in North Africa. Papers relating to Lilias Trotter can be found with the papers of the Algiers Mission Band – a new collection for SOAS Library, deposited in 2017 by Arab World Ministries. Lilias Trotter

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Wishing you a very Happy New Year- Nianhua [年畫]

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|February 16, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog comes from Jiyeon Wood, Subject Librarian for Arts & Multi-Media, and celebrates the Chinese New Year through SOAS Library’s fascinating collection of Chinese woodblock prints. Are you familiar with the lunar calendar? In Korea, where I’m from, the lunar calendar is still used. For example, my parents’ birthdays are set by the lunar calendar, which means that they celebrate their birthdays on a different day every year

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Valentine’s Day in the Archive

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|February 14, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

Our collections at SOAS Archives reflect the British interaction with Africa and Asia over the last 250 years and include the papers of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations. Not where you would expect to find tales of love, perhaps, but every Archive has its romances and Valentine’s Day seems to be a good day to share a few! Voices of those in our Archive who travelled and explored Asia and

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Hausa Popular Fiction at SOAS

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|February 6, 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog comes from Dawn Wright, SOAS subject Librarian for Africa, and looks at the Furniss Collection (E Coll 7), a collection of Hausa Popular Fiction made by Professor Graham Furniss (former Pro-Director for Research and Enterprise at SOAS, University of London) and acquired by SOAS Library in 2008. The collection was amongst a larger selection of Hausa materials from the Library’s collections on display for a recent visit

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