Author Archives: Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library

About Archives & 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: 020 7898 4180

Edith Brown: Medicine Woman

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|January 13, 2018|uncategorized|0 comments

This week’s guest blog comes from Nicola Lawson, Assistant Curator at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, Cumbria, to coincide with the opening of an exhibition at the Museum, ‘Edith Brown: Medicine Woman’, which runs from 13th January to 25th March 2018. A number of items relating to Edith Brown held in a collection of papers relating to the Ludhiana Medical College (ref: MS 381189) have been loaned to the Museum from

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Season’s Greetings from SOAS Archives and Special Collections!

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|December 22, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

As we wind up for the winter holidays and bid farewell to 2017, it seems every archivist here at SOAS Archives and Special Collections has a festive archive anecdote to share, so we thought we would collate our favourites into a short seasonal Blog post! SOAS Archives and Special collections, broadly speaking, documents the British interaction with Africa, Asia and the Middle East over the past two centuries. The collections

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Archives & Special Collections Open Day 2017

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|November 20, 2017|Collections & Research, Teaching & Learning|0 comments

“Amazing! Diaries, photos, maps, SOAS history – absolutely wonderful!” “The range of material is a real testament to the collections SOAS holds” “Useful to see the range of the collection so I can promote it when training students and speaking to staff” “I have a far less abstract idea of the archives and special collections now and feel increased confidence in visiting” Just some of the great feedback from our

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The Righteous and Harmonious Fists

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|November 3, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

Taking place in the wake of serious drought, floods and hunger, The Boxer Rebellion, Yihetuan or most poetically, The Righteous and Harmonious Fists Movement, was an uprising in China that took place between 1899 and 1900. Tensions rose quickly, culminating with serious anti-foreigner violence in Peking (Beijing) and the city being taken under siege by ‘the Boxers’. Eight international forces eventually forcibly subdued the rebels and the following September the Peking Protocol was

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Chōsen shisetsu gyōretsu zukan [Procession of Korean Ambassadors]

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|October 22, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at one of SOAS Library’s most treasured manuscripts, Chōsen shisetsu gyōretsu zukan or Procession of Korean Ambassadors, currently on display at the School’s Brunei Gallery. It also features on an episode of the BBC Antiques Roadshow, hosted from the University of London’s Senate House, which screened on Sunday 22nd October 2017 – part of the School’s Centenary celebrations. This handscroll painting, over 12 metres in length, captures the pageantry surrounding

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Butterfield and Swire’s Secret Code!

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|October 4, 2017|uncategorized|0 comments

SOAS holds the extensive archives of John Swire and Sons (JSS), a two hundred year old business established in Liverpool by one John Swire. Initially a modest textiles import-export business, after John’s death in 1847 it began to trade all manner of goods with Asia, from fencing wire to silks, Guinness to tea, and with great success. Still thriving today, the Swire Group is perhaps most famously known for its air

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Gladys Aylward

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|September 10, 2017|Collections & Research|

Born in North London, in 1902, Gladys Aylward worked as a housemaid from the age of 14. In 1925, she became convinced that she had received God’s calling to spread his word in China after attending an evangelical meeting. She was refused missionary service in China by the China Inland Mission Centre in London, for failing their examinations. In October 1930, Gladys realized her ambition when she went to Yangchen

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Memories of Partition – 70 years on

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|August 14, 2017|Collections & Research|2 comments

This week’s blog is written by our South Asia Librarian, Farzana Whitfield, and marks the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India. Farzana looks back on her family’s personal experience and memories of Partition. This August marks 70 years of India’s independence from British rule (15th August) giving birth to 2 nations- a Hindu majority India and a Muslim majority Pakistan (14th August). Subsequently there were 3 wars between India

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The China Association

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|August 10, 2017|Collections & Research|

The China Association was a mercantile body, formed to represent the interests of those concerned with trade to China, Hong Kong and Japan. Working closely alongside the London Chamber of Commerce, local Chambers, the Federation of British Industries and the Foreign Office, the Association took on the grievances of British traders in China and presented these to the British government and the Chinese authorities. The Association was created following a

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David Storm Rice’s excavations at Harran, Turkey

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|July 28, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at the papers of David Storm Rice’s excavations at Harran, Turkey. Rice, a SOAS academic, made four expeditions to Harran in the 1950s. Each expedition is represented in the archive, which includes notes, photographs, drawings, and correspondence made in the field, documenting not only Rice’s findings but also the practical side of organising an archaeological dig. Harran is in south-east Turkey, not far from Urfa and

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