Diaries of a Nigerian District Officer's family

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: a typescript account Violet in Nigeria edited by Margaret A. Kerrich (nee Cragg) from her mother's letters covering the period 1924-1930, and about the life of a District Officer's family; 2 cassette tapes recorded on three of the four sides by Kerrich relating experiences in Nigeria 1931-1932, and based on a diary; a small number of photographs (some of a leopard, possibly 'Piccin'), drawings and miscellaneous items; and, a nameplate for 'Piccin' the leopard which was presented to Edinburgh Zoo by Mrs Gilliat Cragg in 1929 and which died in 1934. The collection is a lively account of problems facing a District officer and his wife in, successively, Niger and Kabha 1924-1925, Benue 1926-1927, Bauchi 1927-1928 and Ninghi and Azare 1929-1930.

Administrative / Biographical History

Major W. Cragg was a colonial District Officer in Nigeria in the period 1924-1930. He served in different parts of Nigeria, namely: the Niger river area and Kabha 1924-1925, the Benue river area 1926-1927, Bauchi 1927-1928 and Ningi and Azare (both in Bauchi state) 1929-1930. In 1931, Cragg was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) for his mapping work in hitherto unexplored territories in Nigeria.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Material purchased from L. Hutchinson, Dunfermline, November 1987, Accession no. E87.101


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using material contained in the collection.

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.

Geographical Names