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To mark Black History Month, Cambridge University Library is promoting its virtual Royal Commonwealth Society collection which was launched on the Cambridge Digital Library over the summer. Featuring items held in the University Library’s Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Library, this digital collection contains a spectacular range of visual imagery from around the world to provide a wonderful resource for students, researchers and teachers looking for primary source material for historical and anthropological studies.

One highlight of our African collections is the 1,000+ photographs of Ghana, 1900-1970, digitised in memory of our library colleague Michael Fuller who was born in Ghana. Michael John Fuller worked at the front desk in the Reading Room of the main UL from June 1992 until his sudden death in June 2012. The digitisation of these photographs has been generously funded by his family: Paul, Hadiza and Susan Fuller, and Dr Adamu.

The images cover a very wide range of events and topics, including the construction of railways, community health care, education, government, the military, domestic life, market scenes, towns and villages, as well as specific celebrations such as a garden party for the legal profession in about 1921, and the funeral of the Ashanti King, Asantehene, on June 2nd 1970.

In addition to Africa, in the collection are powerful visual records of individuals, groups and cultures across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australasia, the Caribbean and the Americas, images which will document historical interactions between indigenous peoples and the British, and map their natural and built environments.

Click here to browse the Royal Commonwealth Society collection on Cambridge Digital Library.

Click here to search the Cambridge Digital Library, e.g. by country name.