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HILTON-SIMPSON, Melville William (1881-1938): papers on the Congo and North Africa

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1446 MS 65-76
Held at: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
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Full title: HILTON-SIMPSON, Melville William (1881-1938): papers on the Congo and North Africa
Date(s): 1906-1926
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 13 mss
Name of creator(s): Simpson | Melville William | Hilton- | 1881-1938 | anthropologist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1881; educated, Exeter College, Oxford, 1900; travelled in the Sahara, 1903; expedition to Kasai region of the Congo with Emil Torday; expedition to North Africa to study the Shawia Arabs, 1912; Royal Army Service Corps, 1914-1918; died, 1938.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Melville William Hilton-Simpson including:

MS 65
Journals of the Congo expedition: containing narrative of the journey, [1907-1909]. 7 volumes.

MS 66
Manuscript and typescript drafts of Among the hill-folk of Algeria: Journeys among the Shawia of the Aurcs Mountains, by Hilton-Simpson. (London: T. Fisher Unwin. 192I), including 17 photographs and a map.

MS 66A
Annotated proofs of Algiers and beyond: by Hilton-Simpson (London, Hutchinson, 1906).

Notes by Hilton-Simpson taken in Algeria including on magic, arts and crafts, medical magic, villages, geography, buildings and textiles, 1913-1925.

MS 68
Ethnographical and bibliographical notes by Hilton-Simpson in Algeria, arranged by subject, c 1914-1926.

MS 69
Typescript and manuscript notes used for an article by Hilton-Simpson, 'Some Arab and Shawia Remedies and Notes on the Trepanning of the Skull in Algeria' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 43, (Jul. - Dec., 1913), pp. 706-721.

MS 70
Manuscript and typescript drafts of a paper on Berber and Arab surgery for the Royal Society of Medicine, Oct. 1919.

MS 71
Manuscript and typescript drafts for a book entitled 'The wandering Arabs of the Sahara: a sketch of life among the Nomads of the great African desert', by Hilton-Simpson. c 1921.

MS 72
Manuscript and typescript papers on material culture in Algeria including on the modern use of the 'water-clock' in Algerian irrigation, oil mills and the pole-lathe in Algeria and England.

MS 73
Manuscript, typescript and printed papers on the Congo by Hilton-Simpson, [c1910], including 'At the court of an African King', 'Sport at a Congo mission station', 'Two years among strange tribes', 'Buffalo shooting in the Belgian Congo', 'Loango to Kasai' and corrected proofs of introduction and index to Land and Peoples of the Kasai, (London, Constable, 1911-17) with copy of agreement with Constable.

MS 74
Manuscript and typescript papers and notes on North Africa, [1906-1920s] on topics including the cave dwellers of Southern Tunisia; a sandstorm in the Sahara; Algerian children's games and toys; some Algerian superstitions noted among the Shawia Berbers of the Aures Mts and their nomad neighbours; magical medicine; medicine among the Berbers of the Aures; purges and laxatives; charms and superstitions; Shawia festivals; folklore of the Algerian hills and deserts; big game and Tuareg warfare.

MS 75
Notebook containing sketches and notes on Shawia and Arabs.

MS 76
Manuscript and typescript notes on the material culture of the Shawia, [1920s], including on villages, habitations and dwellings; textiles; pottery; woodwork; basketry; leather work; agriculture; irrigation and time measurement; corn milling; olive oil; war and weapons.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Appointments are necessary for all visits; please contact the archivist by email to arrange; a fee of 10 is payable by all visitors except Fellows and Members; membership details can be found on the RAI web site; access to material referring to the most recent thirty years is restricted; some material is very fragile and may not be available for view; a few items are of restricted or forbidden access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies and scans for personal research only may be arranged at the discretion of the archivist; charges apply; in all cases forms governing use of copies must be signed; use of digital cameras is not allowed.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue available in the RAI reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Various, see the detailed catalogue.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Obit: Man, Vol. 38, (Jun., 1938), pp. 93-93.

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:
Sep 2008

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