Friday, 19 March 2010

Capricorn Africa Society

The Capricorn Africa Society was founded in Southern Rhodesia by David Stirling in 1949, with the objective of democratic and multi-racial development in East and Central Africa.

The Society has been described as "a small band of idealists in the decade before independence who believed that a future without racial discrimination would allow the countries of east and central Africa to prosper." The papers held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library and Archives, include correspondence and papers of the Capricorn Africa Society, 1955-1966; comprising of a range of material including copies of society pamphlets and leaflets, a progress report to members in the United Kingdom, 1958, the programme of the Central African Branch, 1959, report on tour of Southern Rhodesia by officials of the CAS Central African Branch, 1959, CAS Newsletters, 1956-1965; newspaper cuttings, 1955-1959, copies of articles by David Stirling on self government and common citizenship in Africa; correspondence, 1957-1960 including copies of 'Weekly Summary' a duplicated letter sent to CAS members from London, letters to David Hamilton and David Stirling on society business and African politics; miscellaneous notes and papers. The papers appear to have come from David Stirling. A list of the collection has now been added to the ULRLS Archives catalogue and can be found at:

The Library also holds publications by the Capricorn Africa Society in its main collections, and political pamphlets collections - these are all listed on the library catalogue.

A recent assessment of the work of the Capricorn Africa Society can be read in

Bizeck Jube Phiri The Capricorn Africa Society Revisited: The Impact of Liberalism in Zambia's Colonial History, 1949-1963, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1 (1991), pp. 65-83, also available in the Library.

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