Black History Month 2022: Heinemann African Writers Series

By Special Collections|21st October 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

In 2022, we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the Black History Month movement in the UK. As part of the many activities and events that SOAS has brought to its students, staff and general audience during October 2022, SOAS Library is hosting a display of important, original materials from the Heinemann African Writers Series, which is held by our Special Collections department. The display has been curated by SOAS

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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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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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Cook Islander missionaries: recovering hidden histories from missionary archives

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|2nd October 2020|Collections & Research|6 comments

This week’s blog looks ahead to the bicentenary of the arrival of the Christian gospel in the Cook Islands which will take place in October 2021, and the instrumental and largely forgotten role of indigenous Cook Islanders in the evangelisation of the region from the early 19th century. New research is rediscovering the histories of these men and women, highlighting their personal commitment to what began as a foreign mission

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Women’s History Month 2020: Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|23rd March 2020|Collections & Research|1 comments

To end our series of blogs to mark Women’s History Month 2020, we focus on Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati (1858-1922), Indian scholar, feminist, educator and social reformer. Published works by Ramabai, accounts of her life and photographs can be found in our collections at SOAS Library. Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati was born Ramabai Dongre, a high-caste Brahmin. Her father was a Sanskrit scholar and taught her Sanskrit at home. Orphaned at the

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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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