George Fortune manuscripts open for research

I’m delighted to announce that the George Fortune Papers, 1869-2006 (2013 accretion with significant updates to the original finding aid) now are open for research. A small selection of items from the collection are available online. This has been a fascinating collection to work with and has the potential to support a variety of research projects. I’m personally charmed by the fact that, as a secondary student in 1931, Professor Fortune earned medals both as a poet and champion boxer.

George Fortune (1915-2012) conducted extensive research and wrote widely on Central and Southern African languages for over fifty years. His writings concerning the Shona language were crucial to the development of a standard Shona orthography, and he also played a key role in establishing African linguistics as a field of study at African universities. This collection reflects Fortune’s roles as a student, priest, husband and father, teacher and university department chair, collector of oral stories and poetry, and co-author or editor of publications in Shona and on the languages and history of Zimbabwe. Materials concerning Shona language and culture are particularly well represented in the collection, including extensive notes and writings concerning Shona dialects, phonetics, stories, and songs.

Other guides to African primary source collections at the University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries are linked from the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections page: Finding Aids to Manuscript and Archival Collections:

Allen, James de Vere
Berner, Lewis
Carter, Gwendolen M.
Child, Graham and Brian
Cohen, Ronald
East African Professional Hunters Association
Fortune, George
Jolles, Frank (Richard Ndimande’s Studio Photographs)
Kennedy, Noel
Lemarchand, Rene
Lighthouses of Angola (Farois de Angola)
Manis, W.E.
Parker, Ian S. C.
Photographs of an Italian Military Doctor in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland
Photographs of Dakar in 1939
Post Cards of Ethiopian Royalty and Clergy
Post Cards of the Belgian Congo and French Equatorial Africa
Propaganda Post Cards Depicting the Second Italo-Ethiopian War
Pucci, G. – Photograph Album Relating to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Libya
Rikli, Martin
Shepperson, George

Several of the above have selected items or significant portions of their materials available online, though many are available only onsite in the reading room. The linked guides provide details.

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