Empire Studies

Empire Studies

Empire Studies is a collection of digitized primary sources that document the British Empire and colonialism. The materials in this collection illustrate British colonial policy and government, provide perspectives on life in British colonies, and allow readers to draw connections between empire, colonialism, and gender, race, and class. Highlights include:

  • Letterbooks and personal papers of Duncan Campbell, a key figure in the founding of the Sydney colony in New South Wales
  • Manuscript sources on the condition of indigenous women and the extension of suffrage to women within the Empire from The National Archives
  • The personal papers of Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810-1821
  • Correspondence and papers related to slavery and plantation life in Jamaica in the 18th and 19th centuries 
  • Archives of the Royal Commonwealth Society 
  • Personal histories and printed works by Black and Asian visitors to Britain
  • The Colonial Gazette, The African Colonizer, Colonial Enterprise and The African Times and Orient Review, 19th century journals that expressed a range of viewpoints, including those critical of the British government

The original materials are from archives at the following institutions: 

  • Bodleian Library, Oxford
  • British Library, London
  • Cambridge University Library
  • Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London
  • State Library of New South Wales
  • State Records Authority of New South Wales
  • The National Archives, UK

These materials express a British colonial perspective and may include views or terminology that are now considered to be outdated, biased, or offensive.

Dates covered

1734 - 1968