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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Correspondence as a New Source for African History: Some Evidence From Colonial Eritrea
Author:Taddia, Irma
Periodical:Cahiers d'Útudes africaines
Geographic terms:Eritrea
historical sources
letters (form)
History and Exploration
Abstract:Recent developments in African studies have taken into account a new type of source, 19th-century private correspondence. This article demonstrates the importance of private letters for studying the history of colonial Eritrea and identifying changes in the local way of life as a result of the emergence of private correspondence. The bulk of the correspondence found in Italian and Eritrean archives consists of letters written by Eritreans, in Amharic or Tegre˝˝a, to the Italian administration. In general, they were written by local political figures who referred to the Italian bureaucracy for legal and political matters, or for issues related to their living conditions. In addition to information on the relationship between the colonized people and the colonial government, these letters also are a source of biographical information. The author further pays attention to biographical material collected by Italian civil servants and written in Italian, testifying to the policy of control promoted by the Italian authorities, and to private correspondence among Eritreans themselves. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.