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Bushmen of Bechuanaland (Botswana)

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30549C

Scope and Contents

A collection of loose prints measuring approximately 200 x 155 mm., with typewritten captions pasted on the reverse. The term Bushmen was used to describe a group of Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherers who lived in the Kalahari Desert. The following explanatory note is pasted onto the reverse of each print: 'Since 1958 a special survey of the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the Bechuanaland Protectorate has been in progress. The other Bushmen have not been neglected, but the reserve Bushmen have special problems, and as the last large body of Bushmen virtually untouched by either European or Bantu influences, a special interest. In charge of the survey is George Silverbauer, a District Officer with three years experience in Ngamiland. He took an intensive course in Social Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Witwatersrand before beginning, and his wife, who has assisted him, also took a course. The survey is to be completed in 1964.'


  • Creation: 1963


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

The Central Office of Information was established in 1946, as the Information Bureau, after the demise of the wartime Ministry of Information, when individual government departments resumed responsibility for information policy. The remit of the department was for the 'collection and recording of information on existing conditions in the Empire ... for the benefit of all who desire to avail themselves of this service.' The two principal and inter-related functions were: 'collection' which involves maintaining and housing the library's current reference materials ranging from substantial yearbooks to ephemeral pamphlets and press releases and 'recording' which involves publishing the papers in the Notes on Conditions series.

Both functions evolved over the years, mirroring the transition from Empire to Commonwealth and the varying needs of Notes readers. In the immediate post-war years, Notes were mostly used by people emigrating permanently from Britain. The later Notes are designed for expatriate employees who went overseas on contract jobs of up to about three years.

Whilst the Notes and related reference materials were the Bureau's main concern, the Information Officer also dealt with any Commonwealth current affairs enquiry received by the RCS. These ranged from advising schoolchildren and teachers on projects, to directing companies and other enquirers to sources of sophisticated information - including the RCS Library - on economics, markets and potential markets, and company-orientated and academic information generally. In addition, guidance on sources of expatriate information and literature on Commonwealth countries not covered in the Notes series (except Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK) was available, as was informal telephone briefing to Notes readers requiring supplementary information on specific points, and advice on expatriate recruitment bodies.


8 item(s) (8 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received by the Royal Commonwealth Society on the 11th October 1965.

Existence and Location of Copies

This file is available on microfiche: Africa, fiche number 152.


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


Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Central Office of Information

Includes index.
2006-09-21 16:37:53+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