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Shaw, Mabel

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 MS 380319
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Shaw, Mabel
Date(s): Created 1915-1973
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 boxes
Name of creator(s): Shaw | Mabel | 1889-1973 | missionary


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mabel Shaw was born in December 1889, at Bilston. She trained at the Women's Missionary College, Edinburgh. In 1915, she was appointed to Mbereshi, central Africa, with the London Missionary Society, and sailed on 6 March 1915. She was the first single woman missionary to be sent by the London Missionary Society to Central Africa. Her work was chiefly educational, but also evangelistic. She founded the Girl's Boarding School, which later became known as the Livingstone Memorial School in Mbereshi, and which marked a significant new chapter in the education of African girls in Northern Rhodesia. In 1931 she was awarded an OBE in recognition of her missionary work in central Africa. She retired from the London Missionary Society in 1941. In 1942 she was appointed to temporary service with the Church Missionary Society, and sailed once more for Africa on 9 April. She retired from the Church Missionary Society in 1952. She died on 25 April 1973 in Guildford.

Books written by Mabel Shaw included Children of the Chief (LMS Gift Book for 1921); Dawn in Africa (Edinburgh House Press, 1927); God's Candlelights: An Educational Venture in Northern Rhodesia (Edinburgh House Press, 1932); A Treasure of Darkness: An Idyll of African Child Life (Longmans, 1936).


Scope and content/abstract:

Miscellaneous papers, 1915-1973, of Mabel Shaw, including her correspondence (1930-1973) and circular letters; personal papers; prayer texts and poems; reports, including Decenial Report on the Women's and Girl's Work in Mbereshi (1930-1940); and miscellaneous photographs from Mbereshi.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and African languages

System of arrangement:

The collection has been arranged into the following sections: correspondence; personal papers; circular letters; addresses; prayer texts, poems and reports etc. Within each section, material is arranged chronologically where possible.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated in 1981.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds the records of the London Missionary Society (Ref: CWM/LMS), and papers of Margaret Sabin relating to Mbereshi (Ref: MS 380320).

Circular letters (1927-1946) of Mabel Shaw concerning missionary work in Rhodesia are held at Wolverhampton Archives & Local Studies, 42-50 Snow Hill, Wolverhampton (see summary of collections, 6th edn. 1993). The Church Missionary Society Archive is held at the University of Birmingham Library, PO Box 363, Birmingham, B15 2TT.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
15 May 2000

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