Papers of Reginald Davies (1887-1971)

Scope and Content

The papers consist of correspondence about the Sudan between 1901 and 1961, and include photograph albums, loose photographs and slides, verses, addresses, articles, and biographical information. Contained within is correspondence with Freya Stark (1893-1993). There is also diary-based material covering 1920 to 1934. The material is both in manuscript and typescript form.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald Davies was born on 17 November 1887. He was educated at Hymers College, Hull, and studied at St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, where he was awarded the degree of B.A. (Hons. Maths) in 1909. Davies rowed for Cambridge in 1910. He entered the Sudan Political Service in 1911, and was the Resident at Dar Masalit in 1920. By 1927 he was Director of Intelligence, and in 1929 Assistant Civil Secretary. Other steps in his career included: Deputy Financial Secretary, 1930; Secretary for Economic Development, 1931; and Chairman of the Board of Economics and Trade, and Member of the Governor-General's Council, 1934. He retired from Sudan service in 1935. Davies then went on to become Deputy Director-General of Alexandria Municipality between 1935 and 1939, then Director of the Publicity Section of H.M. Embassy in Cairo, 1939 until 1942. He was Finance Officer at the British Council, 1942 to 1947, then Assistant Director-General of the British Council, 1947. Davies finally retired in 1953. His publications include The camel's back: service in the rural Sudan (1957) and various contributions to Sudan notes and records. He had been awarded the Order of the Nile, 3rd Class, in 1932, and in 1950 he became a Companion of St. Michael and St. George. Reginald Davies died on 18 December 1971. Latterly he had been living near Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material acquired May 1972, Accession no. E72.21.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who 1971-1980. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1981.

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

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally 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.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: 1911-42 including papers from service in Sudan and Egypt, and personal correspondence, Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green Section, Ref. G//S 1134, see Annual Return 1996; correspondence with Margery Perham, Oxford University, Rhodes House Library, Ref. MSS Perham NRA 33434 Perham.

Geographical Names