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Collection Level Description: Papers of Randall Erskine Ellison

Reference: GB 0162 MSS. Afr. s. 1947
Title: Papers of Randall Erskine Ellison
Dates of Creation: 1928-1958, 1984
Extent: 1 box, 2 albums

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Randall Erskine Ellison (1904-1984) was educated at Repton School, then New College, Oxford, where he gained an MA. He was Superintendent of Education, Northern Provinces, Nigeria, from 1928 and was seconded to British Somaliland as Director of Education, 1938-1943. During World War Two, he undertook military service with British Somaliland and Nigerian Forces, 1940-1943. He was made Assistant Director of Education, 1945 and Deputy Director, 1946. He was made Deputy Director of Education, Northern Region, Nigeria, 1955, Director, 1956, and Adviser on Education, 1957. He gained the post of Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Northern Region, Nigeria in 1958, retiring in 1961. After his retirement, he was Assistant Secretary of the Church Assembly, Dean's Yard, London, 1962-1963 and Chairman of the Africa Committee of the Church Mission Society, 1969-1973. He was a member of the Council of Westfield College, London University, 1964-1978 and was Honorary Steward, Westminster Abbey, 1964. Awarded the CMG in 1960, he was the author of An English-Kanuri sentence book (London, published on behalf of the Government of Nigeria by the Crown Agents for the Colonies, 1937).

Scope and Content

Articles, drafts and photographs relating to career in the Education Service in Nigeria and Somaliland, 1928-1958; also text of address given at his memorial service by his brother, the Rt. Revd. G.A. Ellison, formerly Bishop of London, 1984.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Dr. Sylvia C. Ellison in April 1985 through the Oxford Colonial Archives Project.


A diary and letters home from Africa were donated by Mrs. J.E. Ellison in [March] 1994; a file of papers relating to his CMG appointment, 1960 was donated by Miss Mary Lambert on 22nd April 1999.

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.

Further Information

Finding Aids

Listed as no. 806 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Related Units of Description

Letters, diary entries, etc. as Superintendent of Education in Nigeria, 1930-1935, 1945-1949 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 421); tapes and transcript of interview concerning education service in Northern Nigeria, Somaliland and Tanganyika 1928-1957 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1332).

Access Points

Ellison | Randall Erskine | 1904-1984 | colonial administrator

Education and state | Nigeria

Education and state | Somalia

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
16 February 2012