Livingstone Papers

Scope and Content

A large collection of letters, journals, maps and other papers of Livingstone, and papers of several friends and associates in his African missions and explorations. MSS 10701-10780 does not comprise all of the Library's Livingstone holdings.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Livingstone (1813-1873), African missionary and explorer, educated himself while working at a cotton factory near Glasgow; attended the medical class at Anderson College and lectures at Glasgow University, 1832; entered the service of the London Missionary Society, studied medicine and science in London; embarked as a missionary for the Cape of Good Hope, 1840; made journeys into the interior, 1841, 1842, and 1843; discovered Lake Ngami, 1849, and the Zambezi in the centre of the continent, 1851; made great exploring expedition from Cape Town northwards through West-Central Africa to Loanda and back to Quilimane, 1852-6; visited England, 1856; DCL, Oxford, and FRS; published his missionary travels, and severed his connection with the London Missionary Society, 1857; consul at Quilimane, 1858-64; commanded expedition to explore Eastern and Central Africa, 1858; discovered lakes Shirwa and Nyasa, 1859; lost his wife at Shupanga, 1862; visited England, 1864; published The Zambesi and its Tributaries (1865); started on expedition to solve the question of the Nile basin, 1865; discovered Lake Bangweolo, 1868; reached Ujiji, 1869; explored the cannibal country, enduring great sufferings, and returned, almost dying, to Ujiji, where he was rescued by Stanley, 1871; reached Unyanyembe, 1872; made further explorations to discover the sources of the Nile, and died at a village in the country of Ilala; buried in Westminster Abbey, 1874.

Conditions Governing Access

Other Finding Aids

See and manual catalogues: Also, G. W. Clendennen and I. C. Cunningham, 'David Livingstone: A Catalogue of Documents', Edinburgh, 1979.

Custodial History

Acquired through various deposits.