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CHILVER, Elizabeth Millicent (Sally), b 1914, political scientist and anthropologist

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0097 CHILVER
Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science
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Full title: CHILVER, Elizabeth Millicent (Sally), b 1914, political scientist and anthropologist
Date(s): 1953-1994
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Chilver | Elizabeth Millicent (Sally) | b 1914 | née Graves | political scientist and anthropologist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1914; educated Benenden School, Cranbrook, and Somerville College, Oxford University; Journalist, 1937-39; temporary Civil Servant, 1939-45; Journalist, Daily News, 1945-47; temporary Principal and Secretary, Colonial Social Science Research Council and Colonial Economic Research Committee, Colonial Office, 1948-57; Director, University of Oxford Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 1957-61; Senior Research Fellow, University of London Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 1961-64; Principal, Bedford College, University of London, 1964-71, and Fellow, 1974; Member, Royal Commission on Medical Education, 1965-68; Trustee, British Museum, 1970-75; Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 1971-79, and Honorary Fellow, 1979; Member of the Governing Body, School of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of London, 1975-80; retired 1979.
Publications: editor of volume 2 of History of East Africa (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963-76).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers collated by Elizabeth Millicent Chilver, mainly relating to anthropological work in Cameroon, 1963-1989, notably papers by various authors on the anthropology of the Cameroon Grasslands, 1963 and 1989, covering subjects including matrilineal society, witchcraft, magic and divination, with notes on the authors by Chilver; working notes on the Kingdom of Bum in the north-west province of Cameroon, compiled by Chilver in 1993, including a volume of photographs; translations of German documents dated 1908-1913 relating to German policy in the Bamenda Division in the north-west province of Cameroon; photographs of Chilver and Audrey Isabel Richards in Uganda and Cameroon, with an explanatory postcard by Chilver; copy of a memoranda by Dr Mervyn David Waldegrave Jeffreys, Senior District Officer in charge of the Bamenda Division, and Mr F R Kay, District Officer, on land tenure in Nigeria and the South Cameroons, 1936; copies of press cuttings about womens' demonstrations in south-west Cameroon, 1994; and two letters to Chilver regarding conditions in Uganda, 1953-1957, from Lady Helen Cohen, wife of the Governor of Uganda, and Mrs Noni Crossfield.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged according to subject.

Conditions governing access:

Apply to Archivist. The letters from Uganda are closed until 2008.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Apply to Archivist for copyright details. Most documents may be photocopied.

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

Given by Chilver in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

The BLPES holds further material relating to Elizabeth Chilver in the papers of the Colonial Economic Research Committee (of which she was Secretary) (Ref: Colonial Research/1/15, 1/19, 7/5, 8/35, 8/46, 8/54, 8/933, 8/105-6), the papers of the International African Institute (Ref: IAI/12/23 and 37/185), the papers of Phyllis Kaberry (Ref: Kaberry and Kaberry 1997), and the papers of Audrey Isabel Richards (Ref: Richards/6/2, 6/25, 6/29, 16/7-9, 16/16, and 16/26).

Rhodes House Library, Oxford University, holds a photocopy of the German policy documents (Ref: MSS Afr S/1529), and correspondence between Chilver and Margery Perham (Ref: MSS Perham).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The Experience-Rich Anthropology project at the University of Kent at Canterbury has used the working notes and field diaries of Sally Chilver on their project website at

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Oct 2000

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