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Zambezi Diaries of Eleanor Mary Sherring

 Single Item
MS. 12406
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

Transcript of Eleanor Mary Sherring's diaries describing her family's journey by barge along the Zambezi River from Livingstone to Lukona in 1930 and the return journey in 1933. Includes maps of the journeys and scanned photographs.

Eleanor Sherring kept a diary in pencil on the journeys and wrote it up in three exercise books in 1961. Her son, Stuart Sherring, produced the typed transcript with the scanned photographs in 2011. She describes navigating the Zambezi River, camping at night, looking after her young children and meeting people along the journeys ranging from the local Barotse, missionaries and teachers to an audience with Paramount Chief Yeta 3rd.


  • Creation: 2011


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Use

No part of the diaries may be reproduced without the express consent of the family of Eleanor Mary Sherring.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS.12406].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 12406

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12406


Zambezi diaries of Eleanor Mary Sherring.

Biographical / Historical

Eleanor Mary Bowling was born in 1901, trained to become a teacher at Bedford College and married Herbert Sherring. In 1930 they sailed to Cape Town with their one year old son, Richard. They travelled by train to Livingstone and then by barge along the Zambezi River to Lukona in Barotseland where Herbert had been appointed principal of the elementary school founded and run by the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society.

While living in Barotseland two more sons were born, Christopher and Martin. In 1933 the family returned to England, again making the barge journey to Livingstone.

Herbert Sherring died in 1959 and Eleanor in 1961.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Stuart Sherring, son of Eleanor and Herbert Sherring, in March 2017.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original diaries and photographs are with the family of Eleanor Mary Sherring.

Zambezi Diaries of Eleanor Mary Sherring
Finding aid prepared by Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom