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Archives and Special Collections: Peter Mackay Archive project

Project information

The Peter Mackay Archive is a major new resource which documents the struggles for independence in a number of Southern African countries including Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Following a successful fundraising campaign on the Crowdfunder UK platform we have started a project to catalogue and digitise the Archive. We raised £8,100 of our £8,000 target with 64 supporters in 56 days. Thank You!

On this page we will post regular updates on the progress of the project, providing further information on the cataloguing of the collection and the digitisation of key resources with our partners TownsWeb Archiving. Further information can also be found on our project blog. The project has been shortlisted for Campaign of the Year at the 2017 Herald Higher Education Awards which will take place in Glasgow on 6 July.

The Peter Mackay Archive

Peter Mackay (1926-2013) was a key figure in the independence movements of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi). Born into a Scottish family with strong links to Doune, Mackay served in the Scots Guards before emigrating to Southern Rhodesia in 1948, where he devoted himself to the cause of African liberation.  Following the establishment of majority rule in Zimbabwe, he took up the cause of the impoverished people of Omay on the shores of Lake Kariba. 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 2014 Mackay’s nephew Rupert Connell arranged for the transport of his papers from Zimbabwe to the University of Stirling. The University Archives is delighted to add the Peter Mackay Archive to our collections. The archive provides a comprehensive record of a remarkable life. It contains a fascinating record of Mackay’s involvement in the independence movements of a number of Southern African countries including Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi).

The Mackay Archive is a collection of international importance and has already attracted interest from academics and researchers from around the world. This project will allow us to open up the collection through both cataloguing and conservation, making the material available to use in our purpose-built archives reading room, and through digitisation, providing online access to the unique resources contained in the collection to researchers around the world. We look forward to developing the archive as a major research resource for all students of African history and politics.

Help the Peter Mackay Archive

While the crowdfunding phase of the project has been completed we are continuing to seek funding to support the conservation and digitisation of the collection. If you would like to support the Peter Mackay Archive contributions can be made using this form:



For up-to-date news and information about the Peter Mackay Archive project follow us on Twitter @unistirarchives or search using #MackayArchive

More detailed information on the progress of the project and the fascinating resources uncovered during cataloguing can be found on the Peter Mackay Archive Project blog.

#MackayArchive #Malawi

#MackayArchive #Malawi