Friday, November 27, 2020

Durham University Library Special Collections Catalogue: The Sudan Archive

[First posted in AWOL 11 February 2012, updated 27 November 2020]

Durham University Library Special Collections Catalogue: The Sudan Archive

Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: The Sudan Archive
Dates of creation: c. 1880 onwards
Extent: 1050 boxes of papers, over 57,000 photographs, 136 cinefilms, 1,000 maps, museum objects and a large amount of related printed material.
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections

The Sudan Archive was founded in 1957, the year after Sudanese independence, to collect and preserve the papers of administrators from the Sudan Political Service, missionaries, soldiers, business men, doctors, agriculturalists, teachers and others who had served or lived in the Sudan during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. It comprises over 360 individual collections of official, semi-official and private papers of British men and women. Each collection is named after the donor who is usually the creator of the records. The collections vary in size from one file to 180 boxes. All levels of colonial society are represented, from Assistant District Commissioner to Governor-General and senior officers of government, as well as from the technical and medical services, the army and the church. The core period covered is 1898-1955, but there is a significant amount of Mahdist material as well as papers relating to the military campaigns of the 1880s and 1890s, while in recent years the scope of the Archive has extended to the period after independence and now contains material up to the present day. Moreover, as officials were frequently seconded or posted to neighbouring countries, or simply passed through them on leave, the Archive also holds substantial numbers of papers relating to Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria and African states bordering on the Sudan.
In addition to official and personal papers (correspondence, reports and memoranda, trek notes and diaries, letters home and so on), collections may include a variety of records in other formats such as photographic images (prints, lantern slides and 35mm slides), cinefilms from the 1920s to the 1960s, sound recordings, maps, museum objects and a large amount of related printed material. Most of the material is in English, with a small amount in Arabic.

The material is open for consultation, with the exception of a small number of files containing personal or sensitive material, which have been closed for a specified period.
Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Heritage Collections, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

  The Sudan Archive


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