The collection is composed of a Sierra Leone Colonial Government file on the disturbances in Kono 1957 and contains a map, cuttings and typescript material.
Collection of Material on Disturbances in Kono, Sierra Leone, 1957
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Sierra Leone in West Africa became an independent nation on 27 April 1961. The country has substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, with minerals as diverse as diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, and chromite. Diamonds, discovered in the eastern Kono District in 1930, had become the largest export earner for the country by 1938.
The diamond Kono deposits are alluvial and so heavy equipment isn't necessary, and indeed manual digging can extract the material. Although mining authorities had been able to control the mines, a diamond rush in the 1950s brought an influx of illegal diggers into the area. Between 1953 and 1957 the number of illegals had grown from 5,000 to as many as 70,000. In spite of the presence of a paramilitary force with helicopter support, crime and violence became a characteristic of the Kono district. Diamonds were smuggled to Liberia where higher profits were to be made.
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
Material acquired January 1989, Accession no. E89.10.
The biographical/administrative history was compiled using various encyclopaedias and freely available information.
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.
Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.