Livingstone Online

Explore the manuscripts of David Livingstone


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Collaborating Institutions

David Livingstone was a prolific writer. In addition to his private journals and his published accounts of his explorations in his Missionary travels and researches in South Africa (1857) and Narrative of an expedition to the Zambesi and its tributaries (1865), Livingstone wrote in excess of 2,000 letters. These surviving materials are scattered in archives across the world and are held in over eighty institutions and by an unknown number of private owners.

For almost a century, locating Livingstone\'s surviving manuscripts was an arduous task requiring weeks of work in archives around the world. Thankfully, finding his writings today is markedly easier owing to the publication of G.W. Clendennen and I.C. Cunningham, David Livingstone: a catalogue of documents (Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1979) and I.C. Cunningham, David Livingstone: a catalogue of documents: a supplement (Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1985). These two works list all the documents that were found by the researchers before 1985. While letters continue to be discovered, Clendennen and Cunningham\'s catalogues remain the essential guide to finding these materials.

The bulk of the Livingstone\'s manuscripts and letters are held in a small number of archives in Britain and Africa. In the process of making these materials available, we have established close relationships with a number of these institutions. At present, we have collaborated with:

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