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Zoroastrian woman (RCMS.89.70)

Useful links in Cambridge University Library, beyond the Library, sites about the Commonwealth, Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific, Canada and the Caribbean

  • Papers of Sir Harry Parkes (1828-1885) who spent much of his career working for the government in the Far East. The collection includes printed and manuscript material collected in Hong Kong, China and Japan throughout his career.
  • Collections of F.H.H. Guillemard (1852-1933), traveller, writer and naturalist, including photographs (MS Add.7957) and journals and notes (MS Add.7783) made by Guillemard as part of the crew of the 'Marchesa' during its voyage to Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia during 1882-1884.
  • Jardine Matheson Archive This includes papers of colonial governments and their officers and agencies, mainly regarding trade and commercial matters (JM/L1), but also maps and plans of cities, properties and regions in South-east Asia, as well as plans of steamships (JM/L7); and a wide range of photographs from China and Hong Kong (JM/L8).
  • LibGuide to official publications collections held within the Cambridge University Libraries.

and beyond ...

  • Derek Ingram papers at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (reference: ICS 192).Derek Ingram was a British journalist and author, who was widely acknowledged as a leading authority on issues related to the Commonwealth of Nations.  He co-founded the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) in 1978, and served as President of the CJA from 1980. 118 boxes, catalogued to file level.
  • Empire through the lens: pictures from the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection at Bristol archives.
  • Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire - over 150 films are available for viewing online.
  • A glimpse of India - moving footage from home movies of India taken 1911-1956, held at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
  • The National Archives of Singapore photograph database enables you to search for pictures of Singapore and Malaysia from collections around the world. It provides low resolution images and names which collections hold the original images.
  • Africa through a lens provides access to thousands of images taken from a broader photographic collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office images, held at The National Archives. The images date from the 1860s and span over 100 years of African history.
  • The British Diplomatic Oral History Programme (BDOHP) provides research material for the study of British diplomatic history. From its website at Churchill Archives Centre you can access to the transcripts of interviews with British diplomats.
  • Migration to New Worlds - online access to selected Colonial Office files on emigration and remigration, including diaries and travel journals, ship logs and plans, printed literature, objects, watercolours, and oral histories. Access from this link for University of Cambridge students and staff.
  • Dutch Colonial Maps Digital maps of the Dutch East Indies, the Dutch Antilles and Suriname from the former library of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, dating back to the time that KIT operated as a 'Colonial Institute'. About 15,000 maps and 150 atlases from the period 1850-1950.

A selection of URLs for locating information on Commonwealth countries:

Information on the Commonwealth:

  • British Empire & Commonwealth Collection (Bristol Archives) - New catalogue (October 2020) Explore archives and objects collected from people who lived and worked in the British Empire, and Commonwealth, including digitised films, sound archives and photographs.
  • Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Royal Commonwealth Society (includes links to RCS essay & film competitions)
  • Cabinet papers from the National Archives Core records of the British Cabinet from 1915 to 1982 have been digitised, and their full text searchable online from these web pages. Includes a substantial section on Empire, Commonwealth and De-colonisation
  • The British Diplomatic Oral History Programme (BDOHP). Indexed access to transcripts of interviews with British diplomats, held in Churchill Archives Centre
  • Empire Online digitised documents, images (maps, paintings, drawings) and essays relating to Empire Studies, sourced from libraries and archives around the world. Includes literature from Africa and South Asia, women's writing and stories for children. (Access via library subscription in cam domain, Raven password)

For information on Africa:

For information on Asia:RCMS 89.70

For information on Australasia and Pacific:

For information on the South Atlantic:

  • Dictionary of Falklands Biography - describes people concerned with the history of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia from the first discoverers in the sixteenth century up to the eve of the Falklands Conflict of 1982.

For information on Canada and the Caribbean:

Contact us

Please address enquiries about RCS holdings to:

RCS Curator
Cambridge University Library
West Road


Please note that we are unable to provide valuations.  We recommend you contact a specialist antiquarian bookseller or auction house.