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BAKER, Sir Samuel White (1821-1893)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SWB
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: BAKER, Sir Samuel White (1821-1893)
Date(s): 1844-1894.
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Baker | Sir | Samuel White | 1821-1893 | Knight | traveller and sportsman


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1821; educated, private school at Rottingdean; College School, Gloucester, 1833-1835; private tutor, 1838-1840; departed for Germany to finish his education, 1840; travelled to Mauritius to manage the family estate, 1845; relocated to Ceylon to establish a coffee plantation and an English colony at Nuwera Eliya, 1845-1854; while in Ceylon he established an impressive reputation as a big game hunter; traveled in eastern Europe; manager-general with the Danube and Black Sea Railway, 1859-1860; traveled in Asia Minor; expedition to discover the sources of the Nile River, 1861-1865; Royal Geographical Society's gold medal, 1865; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, 1865-1893; governor-general of the equatorial Nile basin, 1869-1873; returned to England, 1873; died, 1893.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Samuel White Baker including diaries (which include sketches) of expeditions to the Upper Nile between 1861 and 1873, and notes on hunting in Ceylon 1844-1853; cash book for 1869; observations taken in Central Africa, 1860-1873 and papers and letters to John Petherick (1863) and Mr Kerrison (1873).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, French and Arabic.

System of arrangement:

The diaries cover successive expeditions: 1861-1863; 1863-1865; May-June 1869; 1870-1873.

Conditions governing access:

Open by appointment only, subject to completion of application form. Non-Fellows require a letter of reference. Access to the diaries is subject to agreement of the Baker family, applications for permission to view this material should be made to the Society's Archivist, not to the family.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at Archivist's discretion, and subject to completion of `application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication of the diaries without permission of the Baker family, applications for such permission should be made to the Society's Archivist, not to the family.

Finding aids:

The RGS archives: a handlist compiled by Christine Kelly. London: RGS, 1977.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The diaries were presented to the RGS by Mr REH Bailey in 1970.

Allied Materials

Related material:

RGS Archives - Correspondence block 1851-1860, 1861-1870, 1871-1880, 1881-1910 and 1911-1920: Baker, S.W. Jnl. Mss.: Africa (Nile), 1863,1865,1866,1871,1872 Baker, S.W.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by David Tatham, Archives Volunteer using DNB and existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; Obit: Geographical Journal Vol 3, pp. 152-6.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) ed.2.

Date(s) of descriptions:
25 September 2000. Nov 2008.

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