Willoughby , Willoughby Charles Collection

Reference code(s): GB 0151 DA49
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Orchard Learning Resources Centre
Domain: archival
Title: Willoughby , Willoughby Charles Collection
Date(s) of contents: 1874-1936
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 28 manuscript boxes and a smaller index card box


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: Willoughby served as a missionary with the London Missionary Society. He was sent to Bechuanaland in 1893 and was founder of the 'Native Institution' of Tiger Kloof. On his retirement from mission work in 1917 at the request of the LMS he undertook a deputation to Australasia and the islands of the South Pacific. In 1919 he was offered and accepted the position of Professor of African missions at the Kennedy School of Missions at Hartford, Connecticut, USA, where he taught and researched until 1931. He then returned to Birmingham, England, and died in 1938.
Willoughby was the author of various publications including 'Native life on the Transvaal border' (1900); 'The soul of the Bantu : a sympathetic study of the magico-religious practices and beliefs of the Bantu tribe of Africa' (1928); 'Tiger Kloof : the London Missionary Society's Native Institution in South Africa' (1912); 'Nature-worship and taboo: further studies in "The soul of the Bantu"' (1932); 'Race problems in the new Africa : a study of the relation of Bantu and Britons in those parts of Bantu Africa which are under British control' (1923)

Custodial history: The collection was deposited with the Selly Oak Colleges Library by Willoughby's son, for his executors, in 1940. In c 1947 some material was transferred, with the permission of the executors, to the Kennedy School of Missions, Hartford, Connecticut, USA where Willoughby taught from 1919-1931. This material included manuscripts of a book to be published as a successor to his 'Nature Worship and Taboo'. The manuscripts took the form of enlargements of parts of lectures delivered by Willoughby whilst Professor of African Missions at the Kennedy School of Missions. It was intended that this transfer would complete Hartford's existing holdings of Willoughby manuscripts. Other material transferred included extracts from books and press cuttings. In addition, some material was retained by the family; other items from the collection were loaned out and apparently not returned

Immediate source of acquisition:


Scope and content/abstract: The collection comprises the research and other materials of and collected by William Charles Willoughby. It consists of a numerical series of files of general papers (1-1000), with accompanying finding aids; a series of bibliographic papers arranged alphabetically by surname of author of publication; a series of papers relating to the 'Abstract of Evidence' submitted by Willoughby to the Commission on the Uniformity of Discipline in Native Churches in South Africa [Fifth General Missionary Conference on South Africa, 1921]; and a series of miscellaneous material

System of arrangement: The collection is arranged into four series: numerical series of files of general papers with accompanying finding aids, bibliographic papers arranged alphabetically by surname of author of publication, papers relating to the abstract of evidence prepared by Willoughby for the Commission on the Uniformity of Discipline in Native Churches in South Africa, Fifth General Missionary Conference on South Africa, 1921 and associated research material, and a series of miscellaneous material


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open This collection is held at Orchard Learning Resources Centre on the Selly Oak campus. All collections housed at the OLRC are currently made available for consultation in the Special Collections Department in the Main Library on the Edgbaston campus. Researchers are therefore required to make an appointment with the University Archivist to consult this collection and to give at least one week's notice of a visit in order for the material to be made available. Researchers are required to bring a letter of introduction with them on their first visit in order to obtain a reader's ticket.

Conditions governing reproduction: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections (email: special-collections@bham.ac.uk). Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Physical characteristics: This collection contains papers, including press cuttings, of a highly fragile nature. Careful handling is therefore required

Finding aids: A catalogue of this collection to file level is available on the University of Birmingham Information Services Online Archive Catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre and in the Special Collections Department reading room.
For contemporary finding aids to the collection compiled by Willoughby and/or his assistants see appropriate series level records


Related material: The archive of the London Missionary Society, which contains Willoughby's official correspondence, papers and photographs is held at the School of Oriental and African Studies.


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 04/26/2001, modified 09/5/2002


Personal names
Willoughby | William Charles | 1857-1938 | writer and missionary with the London Missionary Society in Africa

Corporate names

Southern Africa