Author Archives: Special Collections, SOAS Library

About Special Collections, SOAS Library

Broadly speaking, our collections reflect the British interaction with Africa, Asia and the Middle East over the last 250 years, and include archives of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations, as well as papers of individuals, including diplomats, campaigners, and academics. If you have any questions, or comments, please get in touch! email: docenquiry@soas.ac.uk tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4180

Chōjū ryakugashiki

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|28th March 2019|uncategorized|0 comments

The first edition of this work (abbreviated drawings of birds and beasts), by Kitao Masayoshi (1764-1824) was printed in 1719, but this 1813 edition is still a superb impression (never judge a book by its cover!) A pupil of Kitao Shigemasa, and  later Kano Yosen’in Korenobu, Masayoshi worked as an ukiyoe artist under the name Kitao Masayoshi. He then became official painter to the daimyo of Tsuyama and worked in

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Xīnnián kuàilè – Happy New Year!

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|6th February 2019|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week marks the beginning of the celebrations for Chinese New Year. Because this is a lunar celebration the date changes each year – this year it began on February 5th. Chinese New Year is one of the world’s most prominent and celebrated festivals and is one of the longest festivals of the Chinese calendar, beginning the evening before the first day of the year and culminating with the Lantern

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Hassan Musa: the artist’s stamp

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|23rd January 2019|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog hi-lights an exciting new collection for SOAS Archives – a personal collection of Mail Art by the contemporary visual artist, Hassan Musa, donated to the Library by Elsbeth Court. Many of the pieces are featured in a new exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, ‘Hassan Musa: the artist’s stamp’, which runs from 24th January to 23rd March 2019. Hassan Musa (b.1951), is well-known for his complex textile paintings and subjective calligraphy. For many years,

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Archives loan to the Hong Kong Museum of History

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|8th November 2018|Behind the scenes, Collections & Research|0 comments

SOAS Archives & Special Collections is very happy to be loaning a number of items to the Hong Kong Museum of History this month, for an exhibition to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Ying Wa College and its’ impact on Hong Kong history. The exhibition runs from 1st November to 5th December 2018, and members of the Archives team are acting as couriers to transport the material safely to the

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Black History Month 2018: Harold Moody

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|26th October 2018|Collections & Research|0 comments

As SOAS marks Black History Month we continue to hi-light historical collections held by SOAS Archives, which reveal the long-standing Black presence in the UK, as well as the contributions and achievements of Black peoples in local, national and international arenas. This week we look at papers relating to Harold Moody (1882-1947), founder and President of the League of Coloured Peoples and active social campaigner for black migrants in London in the 1930s and 1940s. Harold

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Annual Open Day

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|19th October 2018|Behind the scenes, Collections & Research, Teaching & Learning|0 comments

We’ve had quite a busy time of it lately here at SOAS Archives, introducing new students to our search room and some of the treasures of our collections. Our annual Open Day proved a huge success attracting over 100 members of staff and students to come and look at a large display of material and take part in behind the scenes tours of the archive stores. The Archives and Special

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Moths & Insects

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|9th August 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 Special Collections, SOAS Library|30th July 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 Special Collections, SOAS Library|7th June 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 Special Collections, SOAS Library|14th May 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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