The Life and Work of Rev. William E. Taylor (1856-1927)

By Special Collections|5th October 2022|Collections & Research|0 comments

In this blog, we discuss the life and work of the late Reverend William E. Taylor of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), who collected together many Swahili manuscripts while he was stationed in Mombasa, on the Kenyan Coast, during the late 19th century/early 20th century. Rev. William E. Taylor was considered one of the greatest Swahili scholars, according to the late Sheikh Yahya Ali Omar and Peter Frankl who wrote about Taylor’s

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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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