Papers of Dr Roger Virgoe relating to the University of Khartoum, Sudan

Scope and Content

The collection comprises correspondence, publications and press cuttings collected by Roger Virgoe, relating largely to the University of Khartoum and the political situation in the Sudan in the 1960's. Correspondence from colleagues and staff at the University describe the lead up to, and events of the demonstrations in 1964. Publications include copies of the University of Khartoum Bulletin (1961-1964), reports on educational policy and reform (from 1959), and material relating to Sudanese history and antiquities (including a publication by A. J. Arkell).

Administrative / Biographical History

Roger Virgoe was appointed as Lecturer in History at the University of Khartoum, the Sudan, in July 1961. He remained there until 1964. He and his colleagues were witness to the role of the University in political events in the Sudan, in the 1960's.

By the early 1960's there was considerable opposition to the military government established by the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Army, General Ibrahim Abbud. In the coup d'tat of 1958, he had dissolved all political parties and set up the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. The policies of the regime were most fiercely opposed in southern Sudan where, in 1963, a revolt broke out against the imposition of Arab rule led by the Anya Nya (a southern Sudanese guerilla organisation).

In October 1964, students at the University of Khartoum held a meeting - in defiance of a government prohibition - to condemn government action in southern Sudan and denounce the military regime. Demonstrations followed, leading to violent clashes with the police during which one student was killed and several injured. A 'National Front' was formed to oppose the government, led by university staff and professionals. The headquarters of the organisation was based at the University. As disorder spread, Abbud was forced to dissolve the ruling Council and resign his position as Head of State. A transitional government was appointed, and elections were held in 1965 to form a representative government.


The material has been arranged in sections according to type: correspondence, publications and press cuttings.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1998.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Related Material

Related Collections at SOAS: Arkell, Anthony John [ref. MS 210522]

Corporate Names