‘“Tin trunk literati” and beyond: hidden sources for Africa’s history’

Killingray, David. 2010. ‘“Tin trunk literati” and beyond: hidden sources for Africa’s history’. African Research & Documentation, 112, pp. 5-13. ISSN 0305-862X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Serendipity and surprise occasionally contribute to the work of the historian. A chance discovery of crucial documents, a word from an informant, or a brief text helping to resolve a puzzle from the past, can set the adrenalin pulsing. Despite the apparent dull, desk-bound procedures of historical research it can at times be a rather exciting venture with eureka moments. There is another dimension that never ceases to thrill me: bringing to life an insignificant voice from the past, recovering the words of those supposedly 'without history', giving flesh and being to a forgotten 'common person', and contributing a further piece of evidence to history 'from below'.

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1 January 2010Published

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07 Jul 2015 12:48

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:23

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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