Records of the Mungo Park Commemoration Committee

Scope and Content

The material consists of: correspondence, 1970-1972; speech by Shepperson, February 1971; news cuttings; proposals for the event; and, various printed matter and postcards

Administrative / Biographical History

An appeal was launched in September 1970 to raise funds for the celebration the following year of the bicentenary of the birth of Mungo Park (1771-1806). The Committee was chaired by Professor G. A. Shepperson, Chair of Commonwealth and American History at Edinburgh University.

The explorer Dr. Mungo Park was born at Foulshiels, near Selkirk, in 1771. After studying medicine at Edinburgh University, Park was appointed as assistant surgeon on an expedition to Sumatra during which he collected botanical and other scientific specimens. On his return he was appointed by the Africa Association to lead an expedition to find the source of the River Niger. He was only 24 when the journey from The Gambia began. His journey through unmapped and unexplored territory took 18 months, and his journal was published as Travels into the interior of Africa. On his return to Scotland he carried on life as a doctor, but in 1804 Africa drew him back to head a new expedition to the Niger. Dr. Mungo Park died in 1806 in Bussa (Nigeria) when his boat was lost in the rapids there.



Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Material acquired from Prof. G. A. Shepperson, January 1987, Accession no. E87.10.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using material contained in the collection, and (1) Keay, John. and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

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.