Hardyman, James Trenchard

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers of James Hardyman comprise 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. It also includes photographs, postcards, illustrations, prints, engravings and sketches relating to Madagascar, and a collection of maps.

The collection contains writings on Madagascar in a number of languages, most predominantly English, Malagasy and French. Hardyman's own articles appear in all three languages.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Trenchard Hardyman was born in Madagascar in 1918. He was the son of Arnold Victor Hardyman and Laura Hardyman (ne Stubbs), who both worked as missionaries in Madagascar with the London Missionary Society from 1916-1938 and 1944-1950. 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 1946-1974 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 The book, published anonymously in the 1840s, began his collection of published and unpublished material relating to Madagascar, which was to become the largest personal collection on Madagascar in existence. 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 these original reference numbers have been included.

Conditions Governing Access


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

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance

Related Material

Related Collections at SOAS: Council for World Mission [CWM]; The African Studies Section of SOAS Library 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.

Geographical Names