Fergus Macpherson Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains:

  • Oral history interviews, transcribed and translated by Macpherson dealing with social, political and religious changes in Zambia (1969-1974)
  • Papers from oral history seminars
  • Material on the African National Congress, the United National Independence Party, Nationalism and Federalism
  • General papers and circulars on Zambia and Central Africa

Administrative / Biographical History

Fergus Macpherson, Church of Scotland missionary in Zambia and Malawi and historian, was born on 9 August 1921 at Newmilns, Scotland. He was educated at Edinburgh University and New College and graduated MA in 1943. Between 1943 and 1944 he was student assistant at Edinburgh Nichloson Street and from 1944 to 1946 at Guthie Memorial. Macpherson was ordained in 1946 and left in the same year for missionary service in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) where he stayed until 1950. He worked as a minister and as a manager of schools, and developed an increasing interest in Zambian history and education and Zambian interaction with missionaries and with European culture in general. From 1951-1954 he was stationed at Lubwa and later was for three years Principal of the Overtoun Institute, Livingstonia, Malawi. In 1959 he resigned from service in Northern Rhodesia and was inducted to Greenock St Ninian's near Glasgow where he stayed until 1964. Macpherson returned to Zambia and took a post as research historian at the University of Zambia, Lusaka and was director of the Kenneth Kaunda Foundation.

Returning to Scotland in 1978, Macpherson worked at Auld Kirk Kilbirnie until 1984 when he was appointed World Mission Secretary to the British Council of Churches. He finally retired in October 1988. Macpherson was well known in Zambia and was a personal friend of Kenneth Kaunda. Widely respected as a scholar and historian Macpherson has published several works on Zambia and its history as well as some fiction. He was awarded a DD from Edinburgh University.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue to the collection is available for visitors to the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in August 2001. This was added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Accruals

No further additions to this collection are expected.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names