Richards, Charles Granston

Reference code(s): GB 0162 MSS. Afr. s. 2280
Held at: Bodleian Library - Special Collections
Domain: archival
Title: Richards, Charles Granston
Date(s) of contents: [1977-1995]
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: c. 120 ff


Name of creator(s): Richards, Charles Granston

Administrative/Biographical history: Charles Granston Richards (fl 1908-1996) travelled to Kenya, 1935 with the Church Missionary Society, his special responsibility being the encouragement of literacy and literature among East Africans. Working through the Church Missionary Society in Nairobi, he became a publisher. He wrote the report which led to the foundation of the East African Literature Bureau in 1948, and was its first Director, a post he held for 15 years. In 1963 he transferred to the Oxford University Press to build up its publishing in East Africa, but was released to work part-time in the setting up of the Christian Literature Fund of the World Council of Churches. He was Director of the Fund, 1965-1970 and of its successor, the Agency for Christian Literature Development, 1970-1974, working constantly 'in the field'. On his retirement as Director, the Agency was replaced by the Print Media Development Unit. Richards kept up an active association with this and with other literature and literacy-based agencies. Other activities included serving on the British Committee on Literacy and the conducting of an evaluation of the South African Bureau of Literacy.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The papers were donated to the library by Richards through Dr. Tony Olden in 1996, having been written at the request of the Oxford Development Records Project and compiled at various times, 1977-1995.


Scope and content/abstract: No Carpet on the Floor: Recollections and Reflections , typescript memoirs concerning his missionary and literary/publishing work in Africa, 1935-1975, with a list of his papers held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, [1977-1995].

System of arrangement: Arranged in sequence.


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Conditions governing reproduction: No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Finding aids: Card index


Related material: No carpet on the floor: recollections and reflections on the work of 40 years, 1935-1975, in the development of literature and publishing chiefly in the Third World, by Charles Granston Richards, with list of papers deposited in the School of Oriental and African Studies (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1786). A large collection of papers of Charles Granston Richards, 1935-1995, comprising articles, reports, books, pamphlets and correspondence, are held in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies.


Archivist's note: Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House. Amended for Mundus.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2002, amended March 2003


Personal names
Richards | Charles Granston | b 1908 | missionary and publisher

Corporate names

East Africa