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The Penn Libraries have acquired several digitized primary-source collections on British colonial Africa, Apartheid-era South Africa, and British missionary activities in African countries. These collections have been digitized from original sources by British Online Archives.

Governing Africa, 1808-1995, a large collection of British colonial administrative sources digitized by British Online Archives.The serials, reports, documents, and archival materials were digitized from original sources contributed by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The collection has three components:

• Government Gazettes for British Colonial Africa, 1808-1966
Colonial Law in Africa, 1808-1919
Colonial Law in Africa, 1920-1945
Colonial Law in Africa, 1946-1966
These present the Official Gazettes for the East Africa High Protectorate and Commission (including Kenya and Uganda), Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Nyasaland (now Malawi), Sierra Leone, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Gambia, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Zanzibar and Tanganyika (now Tanzania), and Basutoland (now Lesotho). Official Gazettes published colonial laws, ordinances, appointments, court judgements, financial records, and other official notices that were official pronouncements of the colonial administration.

Colonial Africa in Official Statistics, 1821-1535
This large collection presents the Blue Books — annual statistical compilations — for the British colonies of Basutoland (now Lesotho), Cape of Good Hope (now part of South Africa), Gambia, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Kenya, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Nyasaland (now Malawi), Sierra Leone, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Tanganyika and Zanzibar (now Tanzania), and Uganda.

• Annual Departmental Reports prior to independence, 1881-1980
These collections present annual reports from departments and commissions within each British colony, generally organized as Administration, Finance, Judicial and Police, Natural Resources, Social Services, Transport and Public Works, Communications and Post Office Savings, Commerce, and Miscellaneous (including Staff Lists).
Gambia Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1881-1966
Ghana and Togo Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1843-1957
Kenya Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports 1907-1964
Nigeria and Cameroon Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports 1887-1962
Zimbabwe under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1897-1980
Malawi under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1907-1967
Sierra Leone under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1893-1961
Uganda under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1903-1961

The two South African collections are:

South Africa under Apartheid, reports and research by a journalist, 1949-1995


Symbol of Organisation of African Unity.

This digitized collection includes the journalist Colin Legum's writings, including the weekly South African Press Digest (1949-1972, issued by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies) and Colin Legum's Third World Report (weekly, 1982-1995). The collection also presents important documentation for the early years of Organisation of African Unity and other Pan-African meetings and organizing activities through the mid-1970s.

Apartheid Through the Eyes of South African Political Parties, 1948-1994
This presents publications and ephemera digitized from the Institute for Commonwealth Studies, Senate House Library (University of London). Parties represented include the African National Congress, the National party and other pro-Apartheid parties, anti-Apartheid parties (including the South African Communist Party), with materials from election campaigns of three independent candidates.

British African missionary records, from the United Society Partners in the Gospel's predecessor organizations – Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, Universities' Mission to Central Africa, Womens' Missionary Association, and Ladies' Association for the Promotion of Female Education in India and other Heathen Countries – typically present correspondence to and from missionaries, annual reports from missionaries, missonaries' journals, Committee of Women's Work documents, and miscellaneous materials including local-language printed publications.
Ghana and Sierra Leone in colonial and missionary records, 1700-1850
Ghana in Records from colonial missionaries, 1886-1951
South Africa in records from colonial missionaries, 1819-1900
Tanzania and Malawi in records from colonial missionaries, 1857-1965
Colonial Women Missionaries of the Committee for Women's Work, 1861-1967





May 24, 2021