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Prints and watercolours of St Helena

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 190

Scope and Contents

Engravings and watercolours dating mainly from the early nineteenth century, many of which relate to the period of Napoleon's detention on St Helena (1815-1821). There are a number of pieces by George Hutchins Bellasis (1778-1822), who spent eight months on St Helena, 1804-1805, and revisited the island in 1812. The collection includes five coloured engravings and a watercolour sketch of Ascension Island, which was a dependency of St Helena from 1922.


  • Creation: 1670 - 1969


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

Daphne Heloise Gifford (1922-1990) was born in British Honduras, the daughter of a Methodist missionary. After taking a doctorate at Royal Holloway College, London University, in 1949, she was appointed to the Public Record Office, where she remained until her retirement in 1982. At the outset of her career in the P.R.O. Miss Gifford worked in the Search Department. In 1952 she was given responsibility for the museum, which was rearranged and re-equipped under her guidance. In 1966 she was promoted to Principal Assistant Keeper, Repository and Technical Services. After a period in charge of the Early Modern Records Department, she headed the Search Department, Chancery Lane, from 1979 until her retirement. Daphne Gifford undertook several overseas missions in the course of her career. In 1965 and 1966-1967 she visited Southern Africa, where she appraised the records of Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Swaziland. In 1977 she began a period of attachment to the Falkland Islands government, and spent two years collating, cataloguing and researching the Islands' archives. She made her first visit to St Helena in 1962, to advise its government on the storage and classification of records. She maintained close connections with the island for the rest of her life, and assembled a collection of 'St Heleniana', which included the material in this collection.


2 item(s) (2 portfolios) : art work/photograph

1 archive box(es) (1 box)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 482

Other Finding Aids

A detailed description of the items in the collection can be found in MSS Addenda, vol. II.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received as a bequest under the will of Miss Daphne Heloise Gifford, March 1991.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Gifford, Daphne Heloise, 1922-1990

Includes index.
2003-12-02 09:39:39+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom