Cambridge University Library
Royal Commonwealth Society Collections
|Chief Librarian/Director:||Rachel Rowe|
|African Specialist:||n/a n/a, n/a|
|Telephone:||+44 (0)1223 333146|
|Catalogue Address:||http://search.lib.cam.ac.uk/ and http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/ 80% in online catalogues; no pamphlets|
|Description of Library:||Countries covered include not only present day Commonwealth members but also those formerly under British administration (Egypt, the Sudan, Somaliland and South Africa). There are also representative sections on other parts of Africa.
Subjects covered include all but purely technical ones, and range from history, geography and politics to art, literature and natural history. The literature of exploration and discovery is particularly extensive and there are original editions of nearly all books in this field. The library is also strong in general accounts of voyages and travels, collected voyages, and the publications of the major relevant societies; much material on Africa appears in this form.
There are large collections of bibliographies, biographies, official publications and periodicals.
The official material dates from the early 19th century to c.1990 and covers annual, departmental, census and special reports, debates and possibly the largest collection of annual statistical blue books outside official repositories.
The majority of books are in English, but there are many in other European languages; the German material on East Africa merits special mention.
Periodicals include publications of local societies in Commonwealth countries and European bodies concerned with Africa, as well as major British titles concerned with Africa.
The Royal Commonwealth Society Library (originally in London) was a founder member of SCOLMA and under the area specialisation scheme was responsible for Nigeria, St. Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.
Botany or Biology or Zoology
Built Environment or Planning
Economic and/or Social History
Politics and International Studies
Sociology and Demography
|Special Collections:||Important archival, photograph and official publication collections.
To search for photographs and archives, first try the Cambridge archives portal Janus
More information on these collections is available here .
Click here for further information on official publications.
|Collection Start:||From 1868 (when the Society was founded) to the present.
Published items are now added to the main University Library collections (rather than the RCS collections) and have been since c.1990; small donations of manuscript and photographic material are occasionally added to the Royal Commonwealth Society collections.
The Library is not actively collecting Africana archival material.
|Access and opening hours:||External users must apply to Cambridge University Library's Admissions Office for membership. For details seehere.
For details of ID required, see here
Opening hours vary for different reading rooms. See Africa through Western eyes, parts 1,2, and 5 , produced by Adam Matthew Publications, 2000-2009.
Parts 1 & 2 include papers by Cuthbert Christy, A.R.H. Mann, Sir John Hawley Glover, Philip Louis Tengely, S. Forbes White, George K. Baskerville, T.O. Fraser and Charles Du Val. see: http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/digital_guides/africa_through_western_eyes_parts_1_2/index.aspx Part 5 includes the papers of Frederick William Hugh Migeod and Mary Ward. See: http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/collections_az/atwe-5/highlights.aspx
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