Conference Paper (unpublished)

Stirrings in Africa – The Peter Mackay Archive



Al-Mulla R (2018) Stirrings in Africa – The Peter Mackay Archive. Politics, Society and Christianity in Malawi and Beyond: A Memorial Conference for John McCracken and Jack Thompson, Edinburgh, 26.04.2018-26.04.2018.

The Peter Mackay Archive is a major new resource which documents the struggle for independence in a number of countries in Southern Africa through the personal experiences of a committed political activist. Peter Mackay (1926-2013) was born into a Scottish family with strong links to the Stirling area. He served in the Scots Guards before emigrating to Southern Rhodesia in 1948, where he devoted himself to the cause of African liberation. His volume of memoirs, We Have Tomorrow: Stirrings in Africa, 1959-1967 provides remarkable insights into Southern African nationalism in its most principled phase. In his introduction to We Have Tomorrow Terrence Ranger described Mackay as ‘an unknown hero’ and he recognised the research value of Mackay’s archive, noting that ‘one hopes that Peter’s own papers will become available.’ Upon Mackay’s death in 2013, John McCracken was a key figure in bringing these papers to the University of Stirling. By examining a selection of material in the archive, this talk will look at the research value of the collection and how it can help to address the gaps in the current textual record of the period. To give some idea of the wide-ranging impact of this, this talk will use a case study of a researcher who came to us looking for information on his grandfather and great-uncle who were active and key members of the Malawi Congress Party, Dunduzu and Yatuta Chisiza, wanting to know more than what the official record could tell him. Finally, this talk will mention efforts taken to make this collection available for further research through our 2017 crowdfunding campaign.

African history; archives;

Publisher URL…_Final_Draft.pdf
ConferencePolitics, Society and Christianity in Malawi and Beyond: A Memorial Conference for John McCracken and Jack Thompson
Conference locationEdinburgh