Women’s History Month 2020: Semane Setlhoko Khama

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|16th March 2020|Collections & Research|0 comments

To celebrate Women’s History Month 2020, we are looking  at the lives of some of the influential women documented in the archives and special collections held by SOAS. This week we focus on Semane Setlhoko Khama (1881-1937), mohumagadi (queen or queen mother) of the BaNgwato of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana, and Christian leader and teacher.  In 1900, Semane became the fourth wife of Khama III (c.1837-1923), kgosi (chief) of

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Women’s History Month 2020 : Sikandar Begum, Nawab of Bhopal

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|8th March 2020|Collections & Research|0 comments

Women, Power and Religion in Bhopal, India تاریخ سفر مکّہ   Tārīkh-i safar-i Makkah (A Journey to Mecca) by Sikandar Begum, Nawab of Bhopal   The discovery in SOAS Special Collections of a manuscript thought lost for the last 150 years allows us to re-introduce an extraordinary figure of 19th century India: Sikandar Begum, Regent and Nawab of Bhopal (1816-1868).                      

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Special Collections Open Day

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|8th November 2019|Behind the scenes, Collections & Research|0 comments

We recently held our annual Open Day which was a great success. A lot of time, planning and effort goes into selecting the items for display and making captions for these, so we were delighted to smash last year’s record for visitors and welcome over 110 SOAS staff, students and alumni.   As always, when selecting items for display, we try to give a taste of the breadth of our

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Black History Month 2019: Thomas Birch Freeman

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|4th October 2019|Collections & Research|0 comments

As SOAS marks Black History Month we continue to hi-light historical materials held by Special Collections, 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 Thomas Birch Freeman (1809-1890), an Anglo-African Wesleyan Methodist minister, missionary, botanist and colonial official in West Africa. Freeman was born in Twyford, Hampshire, England, on 6th

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Erub Arts Research Visit

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|30th July 2019|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog comes to us from Diann Lui, Art Centre Manager at Erub Arts, following a recent research visit to SOAS Special Collections, to use material held in the London Missionary Society Archive. Erub Arts works with the local community to maintain a strong Erubian identity, by promoting their culture through contemporary art. You may not know where Erub is or why we visited SOAS. Erub, an island in the Torres

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The First Printed Works of Bengal

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|28th June 2019|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week’s blog looks at a fascinating piece from our collections, likely the world’s earliest surviving text printed in Bengal and Northern India, a copy of the ‘Calendar for the year of our Lord MDCCLXXVIII. Calculated to the Meridian of Calcutta‘ (part of MS 12235, held by SOAS Special Collections). This guest blog is written by Andrew Otis, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of

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Chōjū ryakugashiki

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|28th March 2019|Collections & Research|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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