The collection includes photographs taken in Sierra Leone at the time of independence, programme of the independence day celebrations, and pamphlets, brochures and magazines commemorating the celebration of independence.
Collection of Material Commemorating the Independence of Sierra Leone, 1961
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Sierra Leone lies in West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia. It became an independent nation on 27 April 1961. Prior to that it had been a British possession.
Sierra Leone had become Africa's first modern nation when freed slaves from America, Britain, and elsewhere in Africa were resettled there around Freetown from 1787 until the nineteenth century. The Sierra Leone Company had been formed in 1791 and it administered the settlement there until 1808 when it became a Crown Colony. In 1896 the British set up a Protectorate over the hinterland of Freetown, the capital.
Sierra Leone has substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, with minerals as diverse as diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, and chromite. Even so, the country is quite poor with an underdeveloped economic and social infrastructure and great inequality in income distribution. In July 2002 its population was estimated as 5,614,743. Of these, 60 per cent were Muslim, 30 per cent followed indigenous beliefs, and some 10 per cent were Christian. Since 1991, civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (well over one-third of the population) many of whom are now refugees in neighbouring countries
Conditions Governing Access
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
Material acquired March 1986, Accession no. E86.12.
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.