Name of creator(s): Livingstone | David | 1813-1873 | missionary and explorer
Administrative/Biographical history: David Livingstone: born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1813; his surname was originally spelt Livingston; aged ten, began work in a local cotton mill, but attended its school in the evenings; achieved university entrance qualifications and attended the Andersonian Medical School, Glasgow, supporting himself by working in the mill for part of the year; studied at the Theological Academy, Glasgow; accepted for service by the London Missionary Society (LMS); went to London for theological training and continued his medical studies there, 1838; returned to Glasgow to take his final medical exams; licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow University, 1840; appointed LMS missionary to Bechuanaland; ordained at Albion Chapel, London, and sailed for South Africa, 1840; arrived in Cape Town and travelled to Kuruman, Bechuanaland, 1841; served for a time under the LMS missionary Robert Moffat among the Tswana and became fluent in their language; married Moffat's daughter Mary, 1844; made various journeys in southern Africa and became determined to evangelise to the peoples living beyond white-dominated southern Africa, 1840s; his party was the first group of Europeans to see Lake Ngami, 1849; sent his family back to Scotland, 1852; travelled north to Zambia, walking with Kololo companions west to Luanda on the coast of Angola and subsequently walking across Africa to Mozambique, 1852-1856; LLD, University of Glasgow, 1854; awarded the Queen's Gold Medal by the Royal Geographical Society, 1855; saw the Victoria Falls, 1855; hailed a hero on his return to Britain, 1856; DCL, University of Oxford, 1856; retired from the LMS, 1857; elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1858; undertook a government-backed expedition to the lands of the Zambezi River and Lake Malawi, 1858-1864; the Royal Geographical Society sent him back to Africa to explore the headwaters of the Nile, Congo, and Zambezi Rivers with his Kololo companions, 1866; his whereabouts were often unknown for months at a time in Europe; he became increasingly concerned by the devastation the slave trade was spreading in the region; he was located by H M Stanley of the New York Herald at Ujiji and greeted with the famous words 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?', 1871; died at Chitambo's village, Zambia, 1873; his heart was buried there by his African companions, who carried his mummified body to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), from where it was returned to Westminster Abbey for burial, 1874. Publications: Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (1857); Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries (1865).
Custodial history: Some papers formed part of the records of the London Missionary Society, created by Livingstone during his missionary work. Others were collected by the LMS to form a reference collection relating to his life. The Livingstone-Moffat letters were presented to the LMS by Diana Bruce. The photocopy of Livingstone's Bechuana journal was presented by Professor I Schapera.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the London Missionary Society by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later Council for World Mission) in 1973.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: Correspondence and papers, 1834-1950s, of and relating to David Livingstone, composed of three sub-collections.
System of arrangement: Letters and papers of David and Mary Livingstone and some collected material relating to Livingstone (Wooden Box); copies of letters at SOAS and elsewhere (Boxes 1-3); the Bruce Livingstone collection (Box 4); copies of the Bruce Livingstone letters and some letters held elsewhere (Box 5); photocopy of Bechuana Journal (Box 6); LMS collected papers relating to Livingstone (Boxes 7-11). Letters are arranged chronologically within sections.
ACCESS AND USE
Conditions governing access: Where they exist, copies, rather than original documents, should be consulted.
Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.
Finding aids: Unpublished handlists to item level. The Livingstone letters at SOAS are listed individually in G W Clendennen and I C Cunningham's David Livingstone: a Catalogue of Documents (National Library of Scotland, 1979).
Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds other records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS), including a miniature portrait of Livingstone (Ref: CWM/LMS Miniature Portraits Box 1 Bundle 3 Miniature 11A) and photographs of Livingstone and various people and places associated with him (Ref: CWM/LMS General Portraits Box 3); three boxes of visual materials relating to Livingstone (Ref: CWM/LMS Africa Photographs Livingstone); and papers relating to his wife's parents, Robert and Mary Moffat. SOAS also holds forty 35mm colour slides, undated, which comprise an incomplete copy of a set of lantern slides made to illustrate an LMS talk on the life and work of David Livingstone, the originals held at the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre, Scotland (Ref: MS 380689), and the accompanying undated text, 'The life and work of David Livingstone' (Ref: CWML J224 & Q361). The slides can also be viewed at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/lantern
Copies: Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers.
Archivist's note: Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998); LMS Register of Missionaries, ed James Sibree; National Register of Archives; AIM25.
Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002