Papers of William Borrowdale Tripe

Scope and Content

Letters to his parents; reports and memoranda, etc. while a colonial administrator in Tanganyika and including war service in the Middle East. Also, anthropological notes and articles.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Borrowdale Tripe was born on the 22 July 1906 in Wellington, New Zealand, and was educated at Christ's College. In 1929 he came to England to undertake a Colonial Service course at Oxford University, where he was attached to Balliol College; in 1932 he re-visited Oxford to take a course in Anthropology and later became a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. For the following 20 years Tripe served with the Colonial Administration in Tanganyika, with the exception of his war service with the Army. In 1941 he was attached to General Headquarters in the Middle East; he took part in planning for invasion of Tripolitania and contributed articles to the press on East African troops in the Western Desert. In 1944 he was appointed Advisor on Arab Affairs to the Military Government of Tripolitania and in 1945 was attached to the Political Division, Advanced Headquarters, Berlin. He returned to Tanganyika after the war until retirement in 1950. Tripe died in 1972.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 285 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplement, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1971).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.