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CHAILLU, Paul Belloni du (1835-1903)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SSC/16
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: CHAILLU, Paul Belloni du (1835-1903)
Date(s): 1864
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 2 files
Name of creator(s): Chaillu | Paul Belloni du | 1835-1903 | explorer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Paul Belloni du Chaillu was born in France on 31 July 1835. He accompanied his father to Gabon at a young age and in 1852 travelled to United States and was entrusted by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia with a mission to West Africa, setting out in 1855 to Gabon. Du Chaillu was, or claimed to be the first European to kill a gorilla in the wild. In 1867 he again travelled to Africa and hoped to reach the Congo and the Nile. The map accompanying the account of the expedition 'A journey to Ashango Land' (London, 1867) is based upon 15 observed latitutes and 7 longitudes and until his obituary was published in 1903, was the only authority on the geography of the greater part of the country delineated. He was rewarded with honorary membership of the Royal Geographical Society. Following this he spent a few years in United States and wrote books for children including 'Stories of the Gorilla Country' (1867), he died in 1903.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Paul Belloni du Chaillu, 1864, comprise route notes, astronomical observations and calculations, Gabon, 1864; letter from Acra, 25 Aug 1863 and letter from Fernand-Vaz, 7 April 1864 reporting on journey to, and residence on, Fernand-Vaz river and library MSS letters, chiefly of a personal nature, to Sir George Black during the years 1848-1878.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Accessible via The Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

Catalogue available online at Access to Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

Additional material can be found in the Journal Manuscripts Collection: JMS/1/82, JMS/1/84, JMS/1/89, JMS/21/75. Letters can also be found in the Royal Geographical Society Correspondence Blocks: RGS/CB5/179, RGS/CB5/457, RGS/CB6/679, RGS/CB8/51.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Obituary Geog. Jnl. Vol. 21 1903, pages 680/681.
Prepared by Archives volunteer using existing finding aids and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

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:
24January 2002 and modified May 2008.

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