Portuguese Colonies Collection

Scope and Content

Papers and publications, 1960-1972, including press releases, circulars, periodicals, press cuttings, and ephemera, collected by Basil Davidson, relating to the Portuguese colonies and independence, mainly in Africa, including Angola, Mozambique, and Congo, on subjects including the Angolan civil war and refugees.

Administrative / Biographical History

Basil Davidson was born 9 Nov 1914. From 1938-1939 he was a member of the editorial staff of the Economist. Following a brief spell as diplomatic correspondence for The Star in 1939 Davidson joined the army, serving throughout the European sphere of conflict, including a spell in Italy resulting in his receiving the Freedom of the City of Genoa in 1945. After the war he continued his work as a journalist as Paris correspondent for the Times until 1949. From 1950-54 he worked for the New Statesman, 1954-57 for the Daily Herald, and from 1959-62 as leader-writer for the Daily Mirror. Since his 1952 Report on South Africa Davidson has written over twenty books on Africa and a number of novels. His publications on Portuguese Africa include In the Eye of the Storm: Angola's People (1972). He was also responsible for an eight-part television documentary on Africa in 1984. Since 1978 he has been an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Birmingham and has received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Ibadan (1975), Dar es Salaam (1985), Open University (1980) and Edinburgh (1981).

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Presented in 1975 as part of the Southern African Materials Project 1973-1976 organised by the Centre for International and Area Studies.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist and database. For an alphabetical listing of all SAMP materials (including material deposited at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies) refer to The South African Materials Project, compiled by Brian Willan, edited by Patricia M Larby (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, London, 1980).

Conditions Governing Use

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