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Elsi Hamilton's papers relating to Nyasaland

 Single Item
MS. 15884

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Elsi Hamilton's papers relating to the year she spent in Nyasaland comprising
  1. 'African Diary 1950'. Diary, 18 Nov-20 Dec 1950, begun shortly after the Hamiltons' arrival in Cape Town and describing their experiences until arriving in Pietermaritzburg on their journey to Chadza's village.
  2. Letters from the Hamiltons to friends in England, Nov 1950-Nov 1951, with some photographs and press cuttings.
  3. Photographs taken by the Hamiltons particularly of Chadza's village, 1950-1951.
  4. 'A Memoir. Nyasaland 1950/51' by Elsi Hamilton. Memoir completed in 2019 describing the year in Nyasaland including maps and scanned photographs.


  • 1950-1951, 2019


1 box

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15884].
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MS. 15884

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15884


Elsi Hamilton's papers relating to Nyasaland.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Hamilton (1920-2003) studied Modern History and then Anthropology at Oxford. He held a lectureship at the School of Oriental and African Studies for ten years and in 1959 moved to Makerere University in Uganda as lecturer in Modern History. From 1966 until retiring in 1983 he was lecturer in African History at the University of Bristol.

Elsi Hamilton studied Public and Social Administration at Barnett House, Oxford, and Mental Health at the London School of Economics. She worked as a psychiatric social worker at the Child Guidance Clinic in Oxford from 1949 to 1950. At Makerere she was secretary of the university's Medical Officer and taught in Child Development. On returning to England she was a social worker in the Child Psychiatry Department of Bristol Children's Hospital and taught for the Open University.

The Hamiltons spent a year from 1950 to 1951 living in Chadza's village in central Nyasaland and learning the language of Ch-Nyanza, while Robert researched oral traditions in African history.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian Library by Elsi Hamilton in March 2019.
Catalogue of Elsi Hamilton's papers relating to Nyasaland
Finding aid prepared by Lucy McCann
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom