|Part of the former English Club Library in the Africa House Hotel|
|The (photocopied) cover of Woodward's 1911 typescript|
The Zanzibar Museum and its collections survived the Revolution in 1964, though by the time of my first visit three decades later they were looking distinctly seedy. The Museum Library was housed in a small room to the left of the Annexe entrance: I remember it as dark, dank, and dusty -- though my memory may be exaggerating for alliterative effect. Its public functions had long been overtaken by the Zanzibar Town Library, just down the road from the museum. It was still possible, however, to become a member of the Museum Library, and in May 1995 I duly joined, not least because it had copies of a number of historical and linguistic works about Zanzibar and East Africa that I couldn't otherwise get hold of on the islands. (I was living on Pemba at the time, where such books were even more scarce than on the main island -- indeed I found myself donating photocopies of papers about local history, culture and natural history to the British Council library in Chake-Chake, which was otherwise subject to the vagaries of book aid.)
|The title page of my copy of Woodward 1882|
Herbert Willoughby Woodward was a long-serving missionary with the Universities' Mission to Central Africa (UMCA) who wrote a number of grammatical sketches of local languages (for an overview of his linguistic work see Doke 1961). One of these was his Collections for a Handbook of the Boondéi Language (1882), which was also in the Museum Library, if my notes are right. In 2005 I bought my own somewhat worn and termite-eaten copy of this via the internet, a treasure nonetheless. A stamp on the flyleaf declares this to have once been in the possession of the "ZANZIBAR DIOCESAN LIBRARY". According to Edward Polome (1980: 14-15), this library was also once home to a 254-page typescript Zigua-English Dictionary and related materials. I hope they're still there -- or in safe hands somewhere. I also hope that the Zanzibar Museum Library collection has survived. A few years ago I was told that it had been moved to the House of Wonders Museum, in the iconic (but crumbling) Beit el Ajaib. Maybe I should check. Or look on the internet first.
* Another, earlier, beneficiary of my photocopy collection, though the then Coast Archaeologist saw fit to mark all of the copies that he'd copied from mine with a stamp declaring them to have come from his own personal library...
Many thanks to both Sarah Longair and Jono Jackson for sending me copies of their unpublished dissertations.
|Books from the English Club Library|
Anon. Undated. Zigua-English Dictionary. Unpublished typescript, Zanzibar Diocesan Library.
Doke, C. 1961. The linguistic work of H. W. Woodward. African Studies 20 (4): 197-202.
Jackson, Jono 2012. Meaning in Miscellanea: The Social Value of Books in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Unpublished M.Sc. dissertation (African Studies), University of Oxford.
Jackson, Jono 2013. Meaning in miscellanea. Tanzanian Affairs 104: 17-18.
Longair, Sarah Charlotte 2012. ‘A Gracious Temple of Learning’: The Museum and Colonial Culture in Zanzibar, 1900-1945. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Polome, Edward C. 1980. The languages of Tanzania. In E. C. Polome and C. P. Hill (eds.) Language in Tanzania. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. 3-25.
Woodward, H. W. 1882. Collections for a Handbook of the Boondéi Language. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Woodward, H. W. 1913/14. Kitaita or Kisighau as spoken on the Shambala Hills above Bwiti. Zeitschrift für Kolonialsprachen 4 (2): 91-117.
Zanzibar Protectorate 1952. A Guide to Zanzibar. Zanzibar: Government Printer.