Photocopies of field notes of Peter Hackett

Scope and Content

The collection comprises photocopies of the manuscript field notes of Peter Hackett, who worked with G. Van Bulck on the collection of material for the third volume of Linguistic Survey of the Northern Bantu Borderland , which never reached publication. The field notes would have appeared under the heading Linguistic analyses of the central (Belgian Congo) area . The research was undertaken in 1949.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Hackett was a British field researcher involved in the collection of material for the planned third volume of the Linguistic Survey of the Northern Bantu Borderland, (Oxford University Press for the International African Institute, 1956).

The survey was undertaken under the auspices of the International African Institute. Support for the project was obtained from the British, French and Belgian governments, and the work was overseen by Malcolm Guthrie and Archibald Norman Tucker. The field research was carried out by four investigators, two to work on the western languages (between the Atlantic Coast and the River Oubangui) and two to work on the eastern (or central) languages (from the River Oubangui to the Great Lakes). In addition to Peter Hackett, the British members of the team included I. Richardson, joined by G. Van Bulck from Belgium and Andre Jacquot, a Frenchman. Richardson and Jacquot worked on the western languages, while Hackett and Van Bulck on those in the then Belgian Congo.

At a later date, work on the languages from the Great Lakes to the Indian Ocean (eastern or far eastern languages) was prepared by Archibald Tucker and Margaret Bryan, from documentary sources as well as their own field research. The collection of material for the first two sections of the work was undertaken from June 1949 to December 1950.


The papers have been classified in groups according to Hackett's original arrangement, and the handlist compiled according to his own numbering, presumably in chronological order of collection of data. The location where the material for each language was collected is given in brackets after the language name.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in 1992.


The translation and annotation of the vocabularies collected is recorded in French, as it was Van Bulck who undertook this part of the exercise; languages of the then Belgian Congo.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Related Material

Related Collections at SOAS: Guthrie, Malcolm [ref. PP MS 27] Tucker, Archibald Norman [ref. PP MS 43]