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'Thirty years ago': reminiscences by Philip Tengely

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 143

Scope and Contents

Unpublished typescript and manuscript reminiscences of Tengely's service in West Africa, 134 pages, with 12 inserted photographs. The account describes Accra, Elmina, Abbeokuta, Ibadan, Sierra Leone and Benin, with particular reference to African traditions, ceremonies and beliefs. There is an accompanying letter from the author to the Royal African Society, 22 June 1939, and the Society's acknowledgement, 26 June 1939.


  • Creation: 1939


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Philip Louis Tengely was born in 1875. He entered the Civil Service in British Guiana in 1892, and served in the Land and Audit Departments. He was appointed 2nd Class Supervisor, Customs, in the Gold Coast in February 1905, and transferred to Southern Nigeria as Assistant Auditor on 3 July 1905. He moved to Sierra Leone in the same capacity on 14 February 1908, but was invalided in April 1909.


1 envelope(s) (1 envelope) : paper/photograph

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 43

Other Finding Aids

Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 87. The photographs are described at Y3043LL in the photograph catalogue.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by the Royal African Society in 1972, which received the reminiscences from Philip Tengely on 22 June 1939.

Existence and Location of Copies

Available on microfilm: Reel 6.


The material has been microfilmed, and the list is published by Adam Matthew Publications Ltd: 'Africa through Western eyes, parts 1 & 2: Original manuscripts from the Royal Commonwealth Society Library at Cambridge University Library - a listing and guide to the microfilm collection' (2000).


This collection level description was created by RAS.


Tengely, Philip Louis, b 1875

Includes index.
2005-09-29 11:58:15+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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