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Image: Inside church at Vava - Torres Island, Vanuatu, 1892 (Y309A/31)

The descriptions below link to online catalogues and in some cases to very detailed descriptions of individual files or photographs.  Some collections have been digitised and may be viewed on Cambridge Digital Library.



These include:


These include:


These include:

Australia and Pacific

These include:

Digitised images

These may be viewed in three places:


For guidance searching for items in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections, please refer first to the RCS web pages, in particular:

For guidance in searching for official publications within the RCS collections, see:


The Royal Commonwealth Society Library is not actively collecting new archival collections, photographs or manuscripts. However, donations of small collections which complement its existing collections will be considered.

Potential donors should contact the Smuts Librarian with details of their collection including, in the case of photograph collections, approximately how many images, whether or not they are captioned, geographical regions covered, dates, and, where known, the names of photographers or collectors.

Consideration will be given to the size and condition of the collection, as well as its subject content and provenance. If the Library feels unable to accept a collection, advice about alternative repositories will be given.

Contact us

Please address enquiries about RCS holdings to:

Rachel Rowe, Smuts Librarian for South Asian and Commonwealth Studies
Cambridge University Library
West Road


Please note the Librarian is part-time and usually works at the University Library on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Rachel may be reached by phone on Wednesdays and Thursdays on +44(0)1223 333146, but it is preferable to email details of your enquiry.

If your enquiry concerns a valuation, please note that we are unable to provide valuations.  We recommend you contact a specialist antiquarian bookseller or auction house.