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Papers of Arthur Colin Russell


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The papers are predominantly concerned with the years which immediately preceded the grant of Independence to the Gold Coast in March 1957. These were years which saw the growth of the National Liberation Movement in opposition to Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People's Party, years of mounting tension, particularly in Ashanti, regarding constitutional changes and the question of federal or regional government. The last three years of Russell's service were largely occupied with these issues.


  • 1931-1958


0.75 linear metres (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Afr. s. 1111, box 1, file 1, fol. 1].
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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Afr. s. 1111

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4048


Papers of Arthur Colin Russell predominantly relating to the years preceding March 1957 when the Gold Coast became independent Ghana.

Biographical / Historical

The Reverend Arthur Colin Russell, C.M.G., E.D., M.A., eldest son of Arthur W. Russell, O.B.E., W.S., was born on 2 November 1906. He was educated at Harrow and Brasenose College, Oxford, and became barrister-at-law at the Inner Temple. In 1929 he was accepted as a Cadet in the Colonial Service and sent to the Gold Coast, where for ten years he served as Assistant District Commissioner. In 1940 he became a District Commissioner and in 1947 was appointed a Judicial Adviser, becoming Senior Judicial Adviser in 1951. In 1952 he was made Regional Officer and the following year became Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare in the Gold Coast. He was appointed Secretary to the Governor, Sir Charles Arden-Clarke, in 1954. From 1955 to 1957 he served as Chief Regional Officer, Ashanti, and was awarded the C.M.G. in 1957.

After his retirement Russell became a Minister in the Presbyterian Church and was Parish Minister of Aberlemno and Oathlaw from 1959 to 1976. He was a district councillor in Angus District, 1977-1984. Russell married Elsa Strachan (d. 1967) in 1939 and they had three daughters. He died on 5 September 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian by Rev. Arthur Colin Russell in 1965.


  • Gold Coast to Ghana: a happy life in West Africa Arthur Colin Russell (Edinburgh: Pentland, 1996)
Catalogue of the Papers of Arthur Colin Russell
Finding aid prepared by P.A. Empson
1968; EAD version 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom