Records of Sierra Leone Development Co Ltd, iron masters, Glasgow, Scotland and Sierra Leone

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence 1930-1954
  • Inventories and correspondence 1956-1974
  • Plans 1911-1963

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1929  , William Baird & Co Ltd , coal and iron masters, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, became interested in Sierra Leone following the publication of a 1927 geological survey. Responsibility for investigated this scheme was handed to Robert Angus (1882-1949), director of William Baird & Co Ltd, and lead to the incorporation of the Sierra Leone Development Co Ltd in 1930  . William Baird & Co Ltd owned 47.5 percent of this company, as did the Northern Mercantile & Investment Co Ltd, with the remaining 5 percent belonging to the United Africa Co Ltd. Officials from Spain were transferred to Africa to open up this virgin field and construct extensive railway and harbour facilities. By 1938  , open cast mines were producing 862,000 tons of iron ore valued at £647,000 for export to Britain and Europe and plans were in hand to extend the railway to large deposits further inland. The company appears to have ceased trading in the 1970s  .

Source: A Slaven and S Checkland, , vol 1Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 ( Aberdeen , 1986  )


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by format and/or function. Within series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

No access for legal, business or commercial purposes without the written permission of William Baird plc. Apply in the first instance to Glasgow University Archive Services.

Acquisition Information

Loan : William Baird & Co Ltd : London: 1982 : ACCN 0036

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

File level list available in searchroom and at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)2473) and London (NRA15635)

Alternative Form Available

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Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Any work based on the use of this material, which is intended for publication must be submitted to William Baird plc for approval prior to that publication and a copy of the final version lodged with them

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by William Baird & Co Ltd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 164/1 Records of William Baird & Co Ltd

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


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Additional Information

This material is original

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