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Rhodesia-Nyasaland [i.e. Zimbabwe-Malawi] Royal Commission Photographs

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3052L

Scope and Contents

Collection of prints inserted in a bound copy of the Rhodesia-Nyasaland Royal Commission Report (Cmd. 5949) 1939. Written on the title page is 'Illustrated with the Chairman's snapshot photographs.' Plate 1 is inside the front cover; the remainder are in pairs on sheets of paper bound into the volume at intervals. They are prints of sharp definition and high quality, mostly 140 x 90 mm, but numbers 5, 17, 18, 44, 46 and 47 are approximately 95 x 120 mm. All have hand-written captions. The captions, including the names of institutions, have been recorded as found and may include language which is offensive, inaccurate or inappropriate. They have been retained to reflect the context of the collection's creation. The photographs are not arranged chronologically, but by subjects. These include land and agriculture (8-20), livestock (21-27), mining (28-37), the people (39-49), leprosy (52-53) and taxation (54-55) as well as general scenes.

Charles Bathurst, Viscount Bledisloe (1857-1958), had a lifelong interest in agriculture, but was also active in public life as an M.P. (before receiving a peerage in 1918), Governor-General of New Zealand 1930-35 and Chairman of Royal Commissions, including that on Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which reported on future relations between the three territories. He was Chairman of the Empire Day Movement and a Vice-President of the Royal Empire Society.

The Rhodesia-Nyasaland Royal Commission arrived at Bulawayo on 16 May 1938, moved to Nyasaland, reaching Zomba on 17 June, thence to Northern Rhodesia (8 July), returning to Salisbury on 14 August, leaving Rhodesia on the 20th.


  • Creation: 1938

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 (


.01 cubic metre(s) (1 archive box containing 57 images.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Inside the front cover is written 'Presented to the Royal Empire Society by Charles Viscount Bledisloe Chairman of the Royal Commission. Lydney Park Glos. May 1939.'

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Africa, fiche number 144.


This collection level description was entered by WS and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Date information

DateText: The photographs have been dated from the itinerary published in the Royal Commission Report on pp. 261-265.

Includes index.
2006-09-12 15:46:02+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom