Grammar of the Foolah language by Robert Maxwell MacBrair (fl. 1836-1851)

Scope and Content

Autograph manuscript of MacBrair's 'sketch' of the grammar of the Foolah (or Foulah) language spoken by the pastoral Foulahs (or Fulani), the Teucorlars (or Tukulors) and the Laubies of the interior of Western Africa, bound together.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Maxwell MacBrair, M.A., was a Wesleyan missionary in the Gambia. He arrived in the Gambia circa 1836 on a special mission to write a grammar of the Mandingo and Foolah languages and to provide a translation service. He found the climate unfavourable and soon returned to England. With the assistance of an African who had returned with him, MacBrair completed his task of compiling a grammar, The Mandingo Grammar, and a translation of the New Testament. He also wrote Sketches of a Missionary's Travels.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

The material was presented to Edinburgh University Library in 1851 by Robert Maxwell MacBrair


Note that when this record was created any associated photographic/illustrative was unseen.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) information from the collection. (2) Moister, W. A History of Wesleyan Missions. London: Elliot Stock, 1871.

Compiled by Caroline Brown, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, 7 July 2000, and updated by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division, January 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987. The volume is mentioned in the Edinburgh University Library subject checklist (C3) Manuscripts on Africa.

Alternative Form Available

Edinburgh University Library Special Collections also has a microfilm of the collection (Mic. Dup. 369).

Conditions Governing Use

Contact the repository for details


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Geographical Names