Papers of Henry Valentine L. Swanzy

Scope and Content

Correspondence, minutes of meetings, memoranda, etc., as editor of African Affairs(1944-1954) and as Head of Programmes, Gold Coast/Ghana Broadcasting Service (1954-1958).

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Valentine L. Swanzy was born in Ireland on the 14 June 1915 and moved to England in 1920. He was educated at preparatory schools in Cheltenham and Eastbourne before proceeding to Wellington College in 1928. He read History at New College, Oxford, where he gained First Class Honours and was also winner of the Gibbs Prize. After spending a year abroad he entered the Colonial Service in 1937 where he remained until 1941. Swanzy then joined the BBC as a News Talks Assistant in the Overseas Service transferring to the BBC Colonial Service in 1944; he spent the following 10 years as an Assistant working on the long-running series Caribbean Voices , West African Voices, and Calling Mauritius. During this period he was also editor of African Affairs (the journal of the Royal African Society) and a member of the Fabian Colonial Bureau (1945-1949). In 1954 he was seconded to the Gold Coast (later Ghana) Broadcasting Service but returned to the BBC in 1958. Swanzy continued to work as a scriptwriter for the BBC External Service until his retirement in 1975.

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. 833 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Corporate Names