Hardyman Madagascar Collection

Scope and Content

The Hardyman Madagascar Collection comprises: Papers, 1827-1995, of James Hardyman, comprising writings in the form of published articles, press cuttings, typescripts, manuscripts and notes and correspondence relating to his interests in Malagasy history and culture and to his missionary work with the London Missionary Society. Also including photographs, postcards, illustrations, prints, engravings and sketches relating to Madagascar, and a collection of maps. The archive explicity reflects the overlap between Hardyman's professional life in Madagascar as a missionary and his interests concerning the island. The collection is particularly rich in material relating to missionary activity in Madagascar, in particular the London Missionary Society. The material relating to the history of the Christian Church in Madagascar is supplemented by articles and reports by Hardyman in his capacity as a missionary working amongst the Sihanaka. The heavy representation of Hardyman's own writings and publications, on a wide array of subjects, is as much to do with his position as a scholar as his bibliophilia. Hardyman's correspondence with a wide range of academics and writers also indicates the rapport he held with fellow scholars of Malagasy history and culture. Mainly English, Malagasy, French - Hardyman's own articles appear all three languages. Also includes some Welsh, Norwegian, Portuguese, Italian and Latin.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Trenchard Hardyman was born in Madagascar in 1918. He was the son of Arnold Victor Hardyman and Laura Hardyman (née Stubbs), who both worked as missionaries in Madagascar with the London Missionary Society from the year they married in 1916 through to 1938, and then from 1944 to 1950. As a child, James was sent to England to be educated under the guardianship of the Rev. and Mrs J. H. Haile. He became a missionary with the London Missionary Society in 1945. In the same year he married Marjorie Tucker.

From 1946 to 1974 they lived in Imerimandroso, Madagascar. In addition to his missionary work within the Antsihanaka area Hardyman became the Principal of the Imerimandroso College, training Malagasy pastors. Following his return to England, Hardyman worked as Honorary Archivist of the Council for World Mission at Livingstone House (1974-1991) and for the Conference of British Missionary Societies (1976-1988). In this capacity he oversaw the deposit of both archives at the School of Oriental and African Studies. From 1974-1983 he also worked for the Overseas Book Service of Feed the Minds.

At the age of eleven, Hardyman was given a second-hand copy of a book on Madagascar by Haile. The book, published anonymously 'by a resident' in the 1840s, began his collection of published and unpublished material relating to Madagascar, which was to become possibly the most comprehensive personal collection on Madagascar in the world. Hardyman used much of the material in his thesis, for which St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, awarded him a B.D. in 1952. He continued to collect information on the subject throughout his life. James Trenchard Hardyman died on 1 October 1995.


James Hardyman's papers have been arranged into the following classes: Hardyman (arranged chronologically); People (includes files created by Hardyman relating to individuals or containing authored work, arranged alphabetically by person); Subject (files organised by Hardyman, and arranged alphabetically by subject); Photographs (grouped by the photographer, the person who collected the material or the person who gave the materials to Hardyman, and arranged chronologically); Visual Material (arranged chronologically where possible); Maps (arranged chronologically where possible). Where possible the original file title and arrangement has been retained. Hardyman devised his own classification system for some of his archive in addition to his Library, and where applicable, these original reference numbers have been included.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Hardyman donated his Library to SOAS in 1991 and further archival material was bequeathed in 1995.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright was transferred to SOAS Library by JT Hardyman and M Hardyman on 2 September 1991. Copyright predominantly resides with SOAS Library, in addition to some third party rights.

Custodial History

Hardyman's policy on collecting, reflected in his own words: 'In principle anything to do with Madagascar might have been included. But in practice some subjects close to my main interests are much better covered than others; e.g. history rather than natural sciences'.

Related Material

SOAS also holds the records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS) which includes an extensive and complimentary resource on both Madagascar and the official missionary activities of JT Hardyman.

The African Studies Section of SOAS Library also holds Hardyman's Library ('The Hardyman Madagascar Collection'). This comprises 3,000 publications donated by James Hardyman. The subject range is broad but the emphasis is on those subjects in which he had most personal interest. Thus, church and mission history in Madagascar figure prominently, as do history, anthropology and works on and in the Malagasy language. Smaller sections cover geography, geology, flora and fauna, law, music and hymnology, arts and crafts, medicine, numismatics and philately.

Externally held collection on Madagascar: Madagascar Library http://www.madagascar-library.com/ The Madagascar Library is the private collection of Daniel Austin who has been deeply interested in Madagascar since the late nineties. He is Secretary of the Anglo-Malagasy Society and a collector of writings on a broad spectrum of Malagasy issues. The collection currently holds some 2,424 catalogued items including 619 books, 831 periodicals and 182 maps. Also held is a wide range of newspaper cuttings, academic papers, and various audio and video recordings.