Wilfred John Plumbe was part of a group of expatriate librarians working in the library of the University of Malaya in c1950s, contributing to the library's early development and to the founding of the Malayan Library Group, the predecessor of the Singapore and Malaysian Library Associations. Prior to 1956, he also spent a period as Assistant Librarian, National University Library, Singapore. In 1956-1959, 1962-1966 and 1982-1983, he worked in Nigeria, where his posts included First Librarian of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science & Technology (later Ahmadu Bello University) and of the University of Agriculture at Makurdi, Nigeria, and President of the Nigerian Library Association. He also worked as Librarian at Chancellor College, Malawi and at the library of an agricultural research farm, Gezira, Sudan. At other periods he was employed as University Librarian in Guyana and Papua New Guinea and Library Training Officer, Fiji, as well as working in England for twelve years. He published several books and articles, many on the problems of safeguarding archival and library materials in the tropics. His books include Tropical librarianship (Metuchen, New Jersey, Scarecrow Press, 1987) and Cry of the Fish Eagle. experiences in Malawi from initiation to deportation with an interlude in Morocco (Glasgow, Dudu Nsomba Publications, 1997).
Typescript memoirs, c1985, entitled African Morning: Adventures in Nigeria & Sudan.
The memoirs were donated to the library by Plumbe on 13th November 1995.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket requiredReproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.
Plumbe | Wilfred John | fl 1952-c1995 | librarian
Nigeria | Description and travel
Sudan | Description and travel
Nigeria | History | 20th century
Sudan | History | 1899-1956
Librarians | Africa | Biography