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The British colonial ‘migrated’ archives: a workshop for Nigeria-based early career researchers

Capture décran 2023 03 20 113859On the 16th of June 2023, Tim Livsey (Northumbria University) is organising a workshop for early career researchers in partnership with IFRA-Nigeria with the support of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The workshop will take place at the Institute for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

British authorities covertly removed thousands of documents from colonised territories at around the time they won their independence, from the 1940s through to the 1980s. These papers include 413 files taken from Nigeria.

The so-called ‘migrated’ archives were held by the British government for decades before being made available to researchers at the National Archives in London from 2012 to 2013. British authorities have still not returned the documents to their countries of origin. As a result, it is challenging for many Nigeria-based researchers to use the ‘migrated’ archives in their work.

Capture décran 2023 03 20 114412

This workshop will:

  • Offer an introduction to the history of the ‘migrated’ colonial archives, focusing particularly on the files removed from Nigeria.
  • Give the opportunity for early-career researchers to work with copies of ‘migrated’ archives documents, including documents from Nigeria.
  • Introduce a mentorship scheme open to up to six Nigeria-based early career researchers. This scheme will make available digital images of ‘migrated’ documents relevant to their research (on a one-to-one basis), together with mentorship from an established researcher. The scheme will also cover the costs of successful applicants’ attendance at the 2024 Lagos Studies Association conference to present their research using the ‘migrated’ archives.

The workshop is open to final year BA students, and to MA and PhD students in History, the humanities, and social science disciplines. It is also open to those who have gained BA, MA, or PhD degrees in History, the humanities, and social science disciplines over the last five years.

Places at the workshop are limited. To apply for a free place, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 5 May 2023 including:

  1. A short CV of up to two pages.
  2. A statement of up to 500 words outlining how the themes of the workshop relate to your research interests.

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Institute of African Studies
University of Ibadan
Ibadan, Oyo State

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