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Whitting Collection on Nigeria

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3043Q

Scope and Contents

A collection of loose prints, mostly taken by Mrs. C.E.J. Whitting. Captions are chiefly derived from information written on the backs of the prints. There is some duplication of prints, particularly towards the end of the list.

Charles Edward Jewel Whitting was born on 10 June 1900, and educated at Haileybury, which he left in 1918 for Sandhurst, followed by service in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He entered St. John's College, Oxford in 1920 (B.A. 1922, M.A. 1928) and went to Northern Nigeria as Superintendent of Education two years later. Apart from serving in Palestine as Senior Education Officer from 1931-33 he spent the whole of his career, until he retired in 1953, in Nigeria - as Senior Education Officer 1933, Chief Inspector of Education 1944, and Lecturer in Arabic Studies in 1946. His knowledge of Arabic, Hausa and Fulani was not only applied to his administrative and educational work, but to literary activities. He compiled a valuable list of ninety nine unpublished Arabic works from Northern Nigeria, edited Muhammed Bello (1951), and translated Ibn al-Tiqtaqa (1947) and Whitting (unknown date). In 1945 he married Alexena Livingstone, and with the exception of Y3043Q/1, the photographs relate to Gidan Bemister, their home in Kano 1947-52 (Y3043Q/42ff), to Jos in 1948, and to travels in 1950, firstly in the Lake Chad region and later in Adamawa Province and on the Benue River.

In an active retirement Mr Whitting continued his various interests, making a particular study of the career and works of Sir Richard Burton. He was a member of the Royal Commonwealth Society Library Committee 1956-62 and 1965-67, and its Chairman 1960-62; his active interest in the Library was shown in many ways and by several gifts. He was made an honourary LL.D. by Ahmadu Bello University in 1971, and died on 12 October 1973.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1952


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 (


67 item(s) (67 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by Mr and Mrs Whitting, circa 1967.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Africa, fiche numbers 44.


Charles Whitting's published works include: Muhammed Bello, Sultan of Sokoto (1951), 'Infaku'l Maisuri [written by Sultan Bello] edited from local manuscripts by C.E.J. Whitting and the staff of the School for Arabic Studies, Kano', London: Luzac; Ibn al-Tiqtaqa, Muhammad ibn `Ali (1947), 'al-Fakhri: on the systems of government and the Moslem dynasties' Tr. by C.É.J. Whitting', London: Luzac; Whitting, C.E.J. trans. (unknown date), 'A history of Sokoto', [S.l.].


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Whitting, Alexena, fl 1945-1952

Includes index.
2004-08-11 08:44:44+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom