Caseby Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0231 MS 3289
Held at: Aberdeen University, Special Libraries and Archives
Domain: archival
Title: Caseby Papers
Date(s) of contents: c 1973-c 1973
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 1 box of archival material.


Name of creator(s): Caseby, Alexander (1898-1991)

Administrative/Biographical history: Alexander Caseby was born on 19 January 1898, in Lundin Links, Fife, in Scotland, the son of a bootmaker. Caseby was inspired to become a missionary at the age of 11, by the Reverend Thomas Crichton, minister of Logie and Gauldry, whom he heard speak passionately of Robert Laws' Livingstonia Mission in 1909. He enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery in 1915, but after the war resumed his education, studying courses in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and bible studies, before he was ordained, in 1922, as a minister of the United Free Church of Scotland, and shortly afterwards was accepted by Laws to work at Livingstonia Mission in Malawi. In 1924 Caseby was married to Williamina McFarlane. In 1929 he suffered from malarial fever, which rendered him seriously ill for several years, with recurrent illness throughout the rest of his life. Despite his illness, he returned to work after three years, resuming his career in a busy parish where he remained until retirement. He died on 14 May 1991.

See also:
Ronald R. Caseby, Going with God: the biography of Reverend Alexander Caseby from 1898 until 1991 (Lewes: Book Guild, 1993); available electronically at:

Custodial history: The records were acquired by the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, under the directorship of Professor Andrew Walls, Department of Divinity, University of Aberdeen. They were transferred to Aberdeen University, Special Libraries and Archives when the Centre moved to Edinburgh c1987.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited in the University in Oct 1987, by the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, University of Aberdeen (later, New College, Edinburgh).


Scope and content/abstract: Alexander Caseby's memoirs, written at the age of 76, recalling his childhood and early calling as a missionary, and describing in detail the work of the Livingstonia Mission, Malawi, 1908-1929.

System of arrangement: Single item.


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet.

Conditions governing reproduction: Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives of Aberdeen University (e-mail: ) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Physical characteristics: No physical characteristics affecting use of collection.

Finding aids: A very brief collection level description is available on the Aberdeen University Library Catalogue.


Related material:

Aberdeen University, Special Libraries and Archives also holds the papers of Robert Laws, leader of the Livingstonia Mission from 1878 until 1927.

The Imperial War Museum's Department of Documents holds papers of Caseby relating to his World War One experiences (ref 78/4/1), and its Department of Exhibits and Firearms holds Caseby's medals from the same period.


Note: Compiled using:
a collection level description from the Archives Hub
Ronald R. Caseby, Going with God: the biography of Reverend Alexander Caseby from 1898 until 1991

Date(s) of descriptions: July 2002.

Missionary work
Ordained missionaries
Religious activities
Religious groups
Rural missionary work

Personal names
Caseby | Alexander | 1898-1991 | ordained United Free Church of Scotland missionary

Corporate names
Livingstonia Mission | Malawi
United Free Church of Scotland

Southern Africa
Western Europe