Papers and Correspondence of Professor George Albert Shepperson (b. 1922)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-490
  • Dates of Creation
      20th century
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      circa 35 boxes, film reel, miscellaneous files and folders (4.5 linear metre) Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      E87.46; E95.53; E2001.28

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: writings, publications, correspondence and personal items, including articles, addresses, tapes, talks and letters on Malawi, nationalism in Nyasaland (Malawi), Dr. Hastings Banda, and John Chilembwe, and with regard to reprints of and royalties on publications; research, correspondence and associated papers on Chilembwe and the 1915 rising, including early papers from circa 1882-1927, commission reports, Chilembwe letters 1900-1915, the 1915 uprising, research correspondence between 1947 and 1990, research relating to diaries and original material, Booth correspondence, Rev. Edwin Shaw correspondence, material on African studies, papers relating to missionaries in Africa, offical reports, newspaper cuttings, conference material, University of Malawi material, theses, discussion papers, postage stamps, and African ethnological artefacts; and, papers and correspondence relating to central and eastern Africa with special reference to Tanzania and Malawi, including government reports, pamphlets, Foreign Office correspondence 1884-1891, reports, pamphlets, papers and cuttings relating to federation and independence, correspondence on the University College of Rhodesia, material on the University of East Africa, material on tea and trade, material on Tanganyika and Uganda, correspondence with Julius K. Nyerere, press cuttings, material on Nyasaland and the Nyasaland Protectorate including correspondence 1924-1982, and material relating to Dr. Hastings Banda. In addition there are miscellaneous items acquired later on, such as letters to Lady Tweedsmuir on John Buchan's Prester John, and materials for an article on Professor A. Brown of Edinburgh University, Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Albert Shepperson was born in Peterborough, Northamptonshire in 1922. He was educated at King's School, Peterborough, and studied at St. John's College, Cambridge. During the Second World War he was commissioned to the Northamptonshire Regiment and was seconded to the King's African Rifles, 1942 to 1946. He served in Africa, India, and Burma. Shepperson joined the staff of Edinburgh University in 1948 as a Lecturer in Imperial and American History and he became a Senior Lecturer in 1960 and a Reader in 1961. In 1963 he was appointed to the William Robertson Chair of Commonwealth and American History. Shepperson has also been Visiting Professor of History at Roosevelt and Chicago Universities in 1959, at Makerere College, Uganda, 1962, at Dalhousie University, 1968-1969, and at Rhode Island College in 1984. His publications include Independent African: John Chilembwe (1958), and David Livingstone and the Rovuma (1964).

Access Information

Some parcels of correspondence and notes are closed until 2011. Otherwise, the material is generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Large collection of papers and correspondence, acquired from Professor G. A. Shepperson, January 1987, Accession no. E87.46. Letters to Lady Tweedsmuir, acquired from Shepperson, August 1995, Accession no. E95.53. Material for article, acquired from Shepperson, April 2001, Accession no. E2001.28.


When this description created, some of the material unseen.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 21. 1963-1964. p.97. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1963-1964. (2) Who's who 1995. An annual biographical dictionary. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1995.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist H.74. In addition, useful resources 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.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various other references to Shepperson related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter from Eric Forbes, 1968, at Gen. 2212/10; letters from Edwin Muir, 1951, 1954, at Gen. 767/8 and Gen. 1733/125; letter from J. C. Furnas, 1954, at Gen. 1733/126; letter from R. E. Muirhead, 1957, at Gen. 715/2, ff.18-20; letters from Hugh MacLennan, 1980, at Gen. 1733/123, 129; letter from Malcolm Bradbury, 1981, at Gen. 1733/127-128; and, a speech given by Shepperson at a retirement dinner at Edinburgh University, June 1986, at Gen. 2248/1.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names