Photographs of Mubin Sheppard

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 115 RCS/Y3031P
  • Dates of Creation
      1928-1960
  • Language of Material
      English .
  • Physical Description
      .03 cubic metre(s) 3 archive boxes containing 483 images photographic prints

Scope and Content

The majority of the photographs relate to the early stages of Sheppard's career with the Malayan Civil Service. They illustrate his accommodation; varied range of work in Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Perak and Terengganu; Malay and European colleagues; official events, military service, travel and recreation. A number of prints are uncaptioned and have been provided with tentative titles in square brackets and approximate dates.

The images begin with Sheppard's arrival in Jan. 1928 via the 'Ismailia'. They document his first posting to Temerloh, including his work as head of a field rent collection team. In Sept. 1928, he was promoted to Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary, and moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he was based in the Carcosa Residence. In July 1932, Sheppard was transferred to Taiping as Assistant Secretary to the Resident and became commander of the Taiping Platoon of the Perak battalion of the Malay Volunteer Infantry. During that year, Sheppard received eight months' leave, spending time in England and Ireland. Following his return, in 1933 Sheppard was posted to Kuala Terengganu and then to Kemaman, from which period the remainder of the images date, including a few from the 1940s and 1950s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard (1905-1994) was born Mervyn Cecil ffrank Sheppard in Ireland, the son of an Anglican clergyman, and was educated at Marlborough College and Magdalene College, Cambridge. Sheppard passed the Malayan Civil Service Competitive Examination in 1927 and was posted to Malaya in 1928. He fought as a company commander in the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force during the Second World War, becoming a prisoner of war after the fall of Singapore. After 1945, Sheppard enjoyed a long and successful career with the MSC, which included organising the food denial scheme during the Emergency. Following independence, Sheppard remained and converted to Islam. He was a close friend of the country's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. Sheppard's intense interest in the history and culture of Malaya inspired his appointment as its first Keeper of Public Records in 1958. In 1959, he served as the first Director of the National Museum of Malaya.

Access Information

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Items are in good condition.

Custodial History

Following Sheppard's death in 1994, Cambridge University Library made microfilm copies of large parts of his personal, colonial and literary papers. Little is known of the provenance of these photographs, which are print copies of originals belonging to Sheppard, and probably were reproduced at the same time. Sheppard must have been the photographer and author of the captions copied onto the reverse.

Related Material

Sheppard's papers were deposited with the National Archives of Malaysia in 1994. Microfilm copies of part of his papers, MS Microfilm11083, are held by the University Library's Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Additional Information

This item level description was created by TT and MJC.