Charles Seligman: Ethnological Notes

Scope and Content

Typescript notes on ethnological sources, letters and other papers.

[1] Letters to Seligman. The correspondents include D.M.H. Beck (1920); Gilbert E. Brooke (1936); A.F. Cadell (1926-28); Sir Allan Cardinall (1919-20); Louis G.C. Clarke (1923); Richard Dennett (undated); Rachel Fleming to Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard (1932); E. Leonard Gill (South African Museum, Cape Town) (1925), with a note from K.H. Barnard; Francis Griffith (Oxford Excavations in Nubia) (1911); Edward Heawood (1911), enclosing a bibliography of works on Berbers; George Huntingford (1938), sending two fieldwork reports on the Dorobo of Kenya; Mervyn Jeffreys (1931-32); B.S. Austin Kennett (1925); Sylvia Leith-Ross (1919-20); Charles K. Meek (1920-22); 1st Baron Moyne, letters from Seligman (1936); Sir Richmond Palmer, with a copy letter to the Governor of Darfur Province, Nigeria (1923-27); Rudolf Pch (1907); Robert Rattray (1922), to the Chief Commissioner, Ashanti; Sidney Ray (1912); Gerald Reece (1933-35); John Roscoe (1920); H. Russell Sienesi (1924-25); W. Allen Sturge (1915); Northcote Thomas (1924); Emil Torday (1928), revision of his MS; Alice Werner (1912-13); and Maria Wilman (McGregor Museum, Kimberley) (1925), with a letter from Raymond Dark (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) (1925?), on bushmen.

[2] Papers, extracts from unpublished MSS, obscure pamphlets, etc. (1-4) A.F. Cadell, typescripts: Customs of the Yagba tribe of Pategi Emirate, 1925; 'Customs of the Yagba tribe written from Memory', 1925; Prohibition of wives - Egbe, 1926; and The Nupes of Pategi. A description of the masked Igunu dance, undated; (5) J.C. de Graft Johnson, typescript, Christian marriage and Gold Coast social life, Accra, 1928; (6) A.G.D. Hodgson, 'Prohibitions on wives' from Wandamba tribe of Ulanga valley Kenya Colony, unpublished MS; (7-8) George Huntingford, field reports, Summary of the social organization of...Kamelilo-Kapchepkendi Dorobo of Kenya; Second field report, 1939. The economic life of the Dorobo; (9) A.S.L., typescript, Glass making at Bida [Northern Nigeria], undated; (10-11) Charles K. Meek, typescript, The Verre (of Marafa's district), undated; and Onitsha, abstract of a report by C.K. Meek, 1931; (12) Palmer[?], Typescript notes, Ancient bronze and silver relics from Tumuni, Sokoto Province, deposited in the British Museum on loan, 1921; (13) F. Rodd, reply to a questionnaire on Tuareg, sent to Charles Seligman from the Northern Provinces, Nigeria, 1928; (14) Isaac Schapera, Ethnography of South Africa, paper on bushmen, Hottentots, etc.; (15) W.C. Simmons, 'Note on a shrine to demon-god Mbandwa at Kabatinduli Bunyoro', 1919; (15) Typed 'Extracts from Dr. Tucker's notes', 1931; (16) Alice Werner, notes on Galla clans, extracts from letters to Seligman; (17) James Wilson-Haffenden, typescript, Ethnological notes on Kwottos of Toto (Panda) District Keffi Division, undated; (18-20) Anonymous typescripts, 'The origin of the Benin art work', undated; Hunting taboos on women, undated; and Notes on the Wafioni[?], or Goroa and their kindred Hamitic tribes..., undated; (21) Anonymous MS, Burial ceremonies in Mo....territory, undated; (22-25) Seligman, notes[?], Yendi District Togoland. Tronkombafetish; Bachama. Religion (The Fare Festival), undated; Multiple souls in Negro Africa, undated; and notes and photographs on the Gold Coast, Dagomba, etc.; (26) Printed Moru Primer (Mission Press, Malek), undated; (27) Sir Hercules Read, printed Anthropological queries for Central Africa, [1905]; (28-31) Richard Dennett, 3 pamphlets, Notes on West African categories, 1911; A common basis for religion, 1913; The African table of periodic law, Lagos, 1917; and typescript, A common basis for religion. Part II, undated; (32) Sir Allan Cardinall, photographs of Dagomba etc.; (33) E.J. Wayland, sketch of a flint or tortoise-point from Kegezi district, Uganda, 1921; (34) Sketch of a gold cross in Lavigerie Museum, Carthage; and (35) A.C. Haddon, MS note on the use of tobacco in Africa, with a Charles Seligman typescript and further notes by Seligman.

[3-11] Typed extracts, offprints, and newscuttings: [3] South Africa; [4] West Africa (Nigeria, Gold Coast and Dahomey); [5] North-west Africa and Sahara; [6] North-east Africa and the Nile; [7] East and Central Africa; [8] Africa general; [9] Andaman Islands, Borneo, New Guinea and Australia; [10] North and South America; and [11] Europe.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Gabriel Seligman (1873-1940), ethnologist, was part of A.C. Haddon's Cambridge anthropological expedition to the Torres Strait and Borneo in 1898. He led an anthropological expedition to New Guinea in 1904, and in 1906 was asked by the Ceylon government to make an ethnological study of the Veddas. Seligman was Professor of Ethnology in London University, 1913-34, and President of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1923-25.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

The papers were transferred with those of Meyer Fortes (MS.Add.9359) from the African Studies Centre Library in 1996.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

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