Papers of Sir Edgar C.F. Whitehead

Scope and Content

This collection contains:

  • Original typescript of unpublished autobiography, 1928-1946
  • United Federal Party 'Build a Nation' tour, 1962: correspondence, press cuttings
  • speeches, circulars, cuttings as Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, 1961, 1962
  • personal letters concerning his work and retirement, 1949-1965
  • press cuttings, 1958-1962

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle Whitehead, OBE (1944), CMG (1952), KCMG (1954), was born on the 1 January 1905 and educated at University College, Oxford (BA 1926, MA 1929).

Whitehead's career history:

  • War service (1939-1945), in West Africa and with Air Despatch in the United Kingdom
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly for Southern Rhodesia (1939-1940, 1946-1953, 1958-1965)
  • Acting High Commissioner for Southern Rhodesia in the UK (1945-1946)
  • Ministry of Finance, and of Posts and Telegraphs, Southern Rhodesia (1946-1953)
  • Member of the Council of the University of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1955-1958)
  • Minister for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in Washington (1957-1958)
  • Elected MP for Salisbury North constituency (United Federal Party) in Southern Rhodesia General Election (June 1958)
  • Minister of Native Affairs (1958-1960)
  • Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia (February 1958-December 1962)
  • Leader of the Opposition (United Federal Party, 1962-1965)

Whitehead returned to England on retirement in 1965 and died on the 22 September 1971.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled with reference to Who Was Who (volume VII).

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Listed as no. 297 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index , compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Corporate Names