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Edward C. Tabler papers

Call Number: MS 1317

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Edward C. Tabler, Africanist and author. Over half of the collection consists of letters to Tabler from Africa, England, and the United States devoted primarily to research and publication of his writings on the early history of South Africa and Rhodesia. In connection with these writings he corresponded not only with other scholars but with descendants of early explorers and settlers in order to trace family correspondence, diaries, and accounts of southern Africa, a number of which he subsequently edited for publication. Enclosed in several letters are hand-drawn maps of Southern Africa (folders 17, 27, 63), while one letter from George L. Harrison (1940 Jan 2: folder 33a) encloses correspondence and receipts from 1842 to 1919.

Also reflected in the correspondence is Tabler's interest in collecting Africana and antiquarian books, and in big game hunting. One other recurrent topic is contemporary politics in Rhodesia and South Africa, especially the changes in the Rhodesian government from the 1950s through the 1970s, discussed from the point of view of the white citizenry.

The remainder of the collection is made up primarily of looseleaf notebooks of research notes and bibliographies compiled by Tabler, as well as typed transcripts of diaries and other manuscripts from nineteenth century southern Africa. There are also a biographical sketch and clippings about Tabler, a bibliography of his writings and reviews of them, several photographs, and other miscellaneous items.


  • 1863-1977
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1977


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is available on microfilm. Patrons must use FILM HM 153 instead of the originals.

Existence and Location of Copies

Correspondence, notebooks, bibliographies, and photographs are available on microfilm (3,025 frames on 3 reels, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM153.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Edward C. Tabler estate, 1979.


1.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, research notes, bibliographies and photographs, principally relating to Edward Tabler's interest in the early history of South Africa and Rhodesia. Over half the letters to Tabler relate to his research and his correspondents include not only other scholars, but also the descendants of early explorers and settlers. These letters contain considerable substantive information, several illustrated with hand-drawn maps of southern Africa. Others discuss the political changes in Rhodesia (circa 1950-1970) from the point of view of the white minority. His research material includes typed transcriptions of nineteenth century South African diaries and manuscripts, his own notebooks and photographs, a bibliography of his writings, and biographical information.

Biographical / Historical

Edward C. Tabler (1916-1977) was an engineer who received his B.S. degree from the University of West Virginia in 1938, and his M.S. degree in 1940. He held various positions with Union Carbide, and was the author of many books on the history of South Africa and big game hunting.

Guide to the Edward C. Tabler Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1982
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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