Papers of William Arthur Crabtree

Scope and Content

Papers, 1902-1921, collected by William Arthur Crabtree, including a card index of English/Bantu and Bantu/English vocabularies, incorporating 13 different Bantu languages and symbols relating to their hypothetical common roots, with some tentative conclusions about Bantu origins, together with material on Luganda and Kavirondo (Masaba dialect).

Administrative / Biographical History

William Arthur Crabtree was born c1868, at Darlington. He was educated at St. Peter's School, York and King's School, Canterbury. He also attended St. Catharine's College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He obtained a BA in 1889. In 1890 he trained at the Church Missionary College. On 23 November 1891 he was posted to the East Equatorial Africa Mission, Frere Town, with the Church Missionary Society. From 1892 to 1906, he worked as a missionary explorer in Uganda. His publications included Elements of Luganda Grammar, Together with Exercises and Vocabulary (1902, revised 1921), A Manual of Lu-Ganda (1921), and Primitive Speech (2 parts, 1922).


The material has been arranged into the following sections: Bantu origins; Luganda; Kavirondo (Masaba dialect); miscellaneous.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Bequeathed to SOAS and presented in 1982.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance