Notebooks on grammar and vocabulary by Roy Clive Abraham

Scope and Content

The collection comprises the personal manuscript notebooks of grammar and vocabulary notes on the various African, Middle Eastern and European languages studied by Roy Abrahams.

Administrative / Biographical History

Roy Clive Abraham was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1890, but was educated in England and Germany. His first degree was in oriental languages (Arabic and Persian) though he also studied Ethiopic at that time. During World War I, he served in the British Army in Arabia, where he learned Hindustani, and then became a member of the Nigerian Administrative Service from 1924-1944, the last six years of which he spent in language research. His first independent research was on Bolenci, and later he assisted George Bargery on the publication of a Hausa dictionary. He was a lecturer in Amharic at the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1948-1951.

His published works include The Grammar of Tiv , The Principles of Hausa , The Principles of Idoma , The Principles of Somali and a Dictionary of Modern Yoruba . He also worked on Igbo, but his death in 1963 precluded the publication of his grammar and dictionary in that language.


The collection is arranged in four sections: African languages; Middle Eastern languages; European languages, and miscellaneous items. Languages within the first three sections are classified alphabetically.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Purchased in 1966.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance