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Consulting material: To consult archives and manuscripts, a full and unrestricted Bodleian reader's card (Group A) is required. You should apply for your card at the Admissions Office.

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Collection Level Description: Papers of the Brookes of Sarawak

Reference: MSS. Pac. s. 83
Title: Papers of the Brookes of Sarawak
Dates of Creation: [1803-1977]
Extent: 42 volumes, 18 boxes

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

The papers cover the whole span of Brooke rule in Sarawak, as well as looking back to Thomas Cooke, father of Sir James, the first Rajah, and forward to the present day. Sir James Brooke ruled Sarawak from 1841 until his death in 1868. Although he had initially planned to make his nephew, John Brooke Brooke his heir and second Rajah, a rift developed between them over Sarawak's ability to maintain its independence unsupported and resulted in the passing of the title to another nephew, Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke, whose wife was the Ranee Margaret. Charles Brooke died in 1917, and was succeeded as third Rajah by Sir Charles Vyner Brooke. It was Sir Charles Vyner Brooke who oversaw the cession of Sarawak to the British Crown in 1946. His wife was the Ranee Sylvia. Until 1946 the Rajah Muda (heir-apparent) had been Anthony Brooke, the third Rajah's nephew, who initiated a ten-year span of correspondence with Dame Margery Perham in 1939. The Tuan Muda (heir-presumptive) had been Bertram Brooke, father of Lady Halsey and Lady Bryant. Lord Tanlaw, formerly Simon MacKay, was the Rajah's grandson. A large part of the collection was deposited by Margaret Noble, a close friend of the Brooke family, and includes her own papers.

Scope and Content

Administrative Information

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required:

Reproduction Restrictions

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Existence of Copies

Some parts of the collection are held on microfilm by the Brunei High Commission.

Further Information

Finding Aids

Listed as no. 82 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977..., compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978). The library holds handlists for the main collection and the two collections of supplementary papers.

Related Units of Description

The library also holds

The papers of Vice-Admiral Basil C.B. Brooke CB, CBE are held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

Publication Note

Japanese empire in the tropics. selected documents and reports of the Japanese periode in Sarawak Northwest Borneo 1941-1945 edited and introduced by Ooi Keat Gin (Athens, Ohio, Center for International Studies, Ohio University, c1998); Ten years in Sarawak by Charles Brooke (Oxford, Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1990).

Access Points

Brooke | family | Rajahs of Sarawak

Sarawak | Kings and rulers

Sarawak | History

Great Britain | Colonies | Sarawak

Perham | Margery Freda | Dame | 1895-1982 | historian

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
27 June 2011