Access to some collections is restricted to members of the University.
The Oates Collection of books on Africa has as its focus accounts of European, primarily British, travel and exploration in Africa from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The writers recount their experiences as travellers, hunters, soldiers and missionaries in titles such as To Lake Tanganyika in a Bath Chair / Annie Hore (1889) and Soldiering and Surveying in British East Africa 1891-1894 / J.R.L. Macdonald (1897). The lives led by those who were resident in Africa for lengthy periods are also included, as in J. Mackenzie's Ten Years North of the Orange River (1871).
The books commemorate Frank Oates (1840-1875), the explorer, whose journal was published posthumously as Matabele Land and the Victoria Falls (1881) and Frank Oates O.B.E. (1890-1945), the geologist, who worked on both the Gold Coast Geological Survey and the Tanganyika Geological Survey.
Extent: Over 250 books on African travel ranging in date from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.
COVID-19 and External Users
Social distancing measures mean that our libraries have reduced capacity and we regret that at present we are unable to offer access to the Oates Collection (Africa) to alumni, members of the public, External Borrowers and SCONUL Access Users. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
The Oates Collection (Africa) books are available for Long Loan and if you have a University I.D./Library Card you can borrow books at the Loans Desk or at the self-issue units on level 2.
See Oates Collection (Africa) for a complete list of titles.
Robert Washington Oates (1874-1958) was born in London and educated in Belgium and Germany. He served in the First World War as a private soldier, at the same time amassing a considerable fortune through his financial interest in a firm of industrial chemists. After the war he became an antique dealer, gaining an international reputation in the antiquarian book-trade.
In 1954 Oates was instrumental in securing Gilbert White's home, The Wakes, as a permanent memorial to the naturalist and author. There he established the Oates Memorial Museum and Library, which commemorated two members of his own family, his cousin, Captain Lawrence Oates (1880-1912), a member of the Scott's Antarctic Expedition and his uncle, Frank Oates (1840-1875) who was one of the first Europeans to see the Victoria Falls. At that time, the Library was reported to amount to 40,000 books.
Two collections of books from the Oates Memorial Library were acquired by the University in 1970.
Rare Books DT 970.M3