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2019

Exhibition until 14 June in Chrystal Macmillan Building - 2019

Attend the exhibition and see the past we have uncovered up close!

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1799

Discover those who have been uncovered… - 1799

1809

1809 – William Fergusson, the first known black student of the University of Edinburgh, matriculates. - 1809

Born in Jamaica, he qualified in medicine in 1813 before becoming the only ever black governor of Sierra Leone in the mid-1840s. Fergusson became a model example for future West …

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1824

Primary source material – Jean Baptiste Philip - 1824

Primary source material reproduced from Jean Baptiste Philip, An Address to the Right Hon. Earl Bathurst, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, Relative to the Claims which …

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1834

Primary source material – ‘Extraordinary History of Mr Thomas Jenkins’ - 1834

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Extraordinary History of Mr Thomas Jenkins’, Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal, 15/12/1832 Mr Thomas Jenkins was the son of an African king, and bore externally all the usual …

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1855
WongFun

Wong Fun - 1855

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Dingjian Xie In the 1850s, the University of Edinburgh became one of the first destinations for early Chinese students who wanted to study overseas. Dr …

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1859
James Africanus Beale Horton

James Africanus Beale Horton - 1859

Image Credit: Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh By Tom Cunningham James “Africanus” Beale Horton was born in Gloucester (Sierra Leone) in 1835. Graduating (M.D.) from Edinburgh University in 1859, …

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1860

Jesse Ewing Glasgow Jr. - 1860

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Hannah McGurk Jesse Ewing Glasgow Jr. was an exceptional African American intellectual who attended the University of Edinburgh 1858-60. After attending elite institutions for African …

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1865

Primary source material – James Africanus Beale Horton - 1865

Primary source material reproduced from James Africanus Beale Horton, West African Countries and Peoples: British and Native, with the Requirements Necessary for Establishing that Self Government Recommended by the Committee …

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1883

1883 – Formation of the Edinburgh Indian Association by “half-a-dozen” students. - 1883

It is one of the first Indian Associations in Britain. [‘Edinburgh Indian Association’, The Student, 11/05/1961]

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1887

Prafulla Chandra Ray - 1887

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Vidhipssa Mohan Prafulla Chandra Ray was a chemist, an industrialist as well as a Bengali nationalist. He was born on 2 August 1861 in Bengal Presidency …

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1890

Kadambini Ganguly - 1890

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Vidhipssa Mohan Kadambini Ganguly (1862-1923) is one of the earliest women physicians from South Asia. Ganguly was born in Bihar on 18 July 1862 when India …

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1892
Lim Boon Keng

Lim Boon Keng - 1892

Image reproduced courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore By Dingjian Xie During his life, Lim Boon Keng (Lin Wenqin, 林文庆), a Chinese Singaporean, was celebrated as one of the most …

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1898

Primary source material – Nestorius Marcus - 1898

Primary source material reproduced from Nestorius Marcus, A Persian in Scotland: Being the Story of the Life of Nestorius Marcus of Uramia, Persia, Student of Divinity at the University of …

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1900

1900 – Richard Akiwande Savage, Nigerian assistant editor of The Student newspaper, John Alcindor and William Meyer attend the first Pan-African Congress in London as delegates of the Edinburgh Afro-West Indian Association. - 1900

Primary source material – ‘Governors of Sierra Leone: William Fergusson, 1841-2 and 1844-45’ - 1900

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Governors of Sierra Leone: William Fergusson, 1841-2 and 1844-45’, Sierra Leone Weekly News, 06/01/1900 Staff-Surgeon Fergusson, as Lieut Governor assumed the government, 3rd September 1841 …

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1905

Primary source material – TES Scholes - 1905

Primary source material reproduced from TES Scholes, Glimpses of the Ages, or the ‘Superior’ and ‘Inferior’ Races, So-Called, Discussed in the Light of Science and History, Vol.1 (London, 1905) pp.xiv-xv, …

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Primary source material – ‘Letter to the Editor’ - 1905

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Letter to the Editor’, The Student, 26/10/1905. Dear Sir, I was told some time ago that the ‘University Hall’ did not admit any coloured people …

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Arthur Cecil Alport - 1905

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Tom Cunningham Arthur Cecil Alport (1880-1959) born in Beaufort West, the Karoo, South Africa, was a medical student at Edinburgh between 1900 and 1905. He is …

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1906

Primary source material – ‘Asia Awake!’ - 1906

Primary source material reproduced from The Student 01/03/1906. Alongside debates, the Edinburgh Indian Association hosted recitals of poetry. ‘To Asia’ (possibly by BK Das, who addressed the association two weeks …

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Bandele Omoniyi - 1906

Image – reproduced courtesy of Hakim Adi & the British Library By Henry Mitchell In 1908, a footnote in a book about a missionary skeptically quipped: “His Highness Prince Bandele Ominiyi …

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c. 1906 – formation of the Edinburgh Chinese Students Society - 1906

1908

Primary source material – ‘A Defence of the Ethiopian Movement’ - 1908

Primary source material reproduced from Bandele Omoniyi, A Defence of the Ethiopian Movement (Edinburgh, 1908), pp.20, 42 & 80. Published in March 1908, after black Edinburgh medical graduates had been …

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1910

Herbert Christian Bankole-Bright - 1910

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Tom Cunningham H.C. Bankole-Bright enrolled at the Edinburgh Royal College of Surgeons in 1905 and qualified as physician in 1910. He ran a medical practice in …

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1910s – Scotland Yard monitor the Edinburgh Indian Association fearing revolutionary discussions. - 1910

1911

Finandra Nath Bose - 1911

Image reproduced courtesy of the University of Glasgow Archives & Special Collections, University collection, GB248 UP5/4/7. By Natasha Ruwona Finandra/Fanandra Nath Bose (1888/9-1926) was born in Calcutta, India.  Beginning his studies …

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1915
Clara Marguerite Christian

Clara Marguerite Christian - 1915

Image Credit: Estelle Appiah & Margaret Rousse-Jones, Returned Exile:A Biography of George James Christian of Dominica and the Gold Coast, 1869-1940 By Esme Allman Clara Marguerite Gordon (née Christian) was a Dominican-born …

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1918

Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah - 1918

Image courtesy of the Idries Shah Foundation By Esme Allman Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah was an Afghani-Indian, who attended Edinburgh University to study medicine in the late 1910s. Ali Shah was …

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1919

Jung Bahadur Singh - 1919

Illustration by Yaz Serrano   By Lea Ventre Jung Bahadur Singh was first named ‘Deenanath’ at birth, meaning ‘protector of the poor’. His father preferred the name Jung Bahadur, after a …

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1920

Primary source material – ‘An Imperial University drawing its students from all parts of the British Empire’ - 1920

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Lectures for Indian Students’, The Leader, 04/11/1920 The YMCA have also opened a hostel for Indian students at No 5 Grosvenor Crescent […] The new …

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Primary source material – ‘Edinburgh University Indian Ambulance Corps’ - 1920

Primary source material reproduced from Ikbal Ali Shah, ‘Edinburgh University Indian Ambulance Corps’, The Student (special war memorial edition, May 1920). The Edinburgh University Indian Ambulance Corps played an important …

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Primary source material – ‘Sir PC Ray’s Speech in the Edinburgh Indian Association’ - 1920

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Sir PC Ray’s Speech in the Edinburgh Indian Association’, Amrita Bazar Patrika, 13/11/1920 Our distinguished countryman Sir PC Ray is now in Edinburgh on what …

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1921

1921 – The Chinese Student – the “Official Organ of the Edinburgh Chinese Students’ Union” – is launched. - 1921

[The Chinese Student, 1:1 (June 1921)]

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Yuan Changying original

Yuan Changying - 1921

Image Credit: Cultural Relics By Dingjian Xie Yuan Changying (袁昌英, 11 October 1894–28 April 1973), a playwright, novelist, scholar of literature and feminist in China, was the first Chinese female graduate …

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1927

Primary source material – ‘We have keenly felt the humiliation and the spirit of racial hatred’: The Colour Bar in Edinburgh, 1927 - 1927

Primary source material reproduced from: ‘Colour Bar in Edinburgh’, The Scotsman, 21/05/1927; ‘Colour Bar in Edinburgh’, The Scotsman, 24/05/1927; ‘Colour Bar: Edinburgh Case: Ventilated in Commons’, The Scotsman, 01/06/1927; ‘Fatuous …

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1927 – Students of colour are banned from bars and restaurants in Edinburgh, sparking international outrage. - 1927

A delegation of African, Indian and Caribbean students together meets the Lord Provost in protest. Another future ANC president AB Xuma also graduates.

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1928

Primary source material – I had expected to see tartan kilts… I was miserably disappointed’ – Lay Toon - 1928

Primary source material reproduced from Lay Toon, ‘A Chinaman’s Letter Home’, The Student (special edition), 07/03/1928 On my arrival in the Scottish capital I had expected to see tartan kilts, …

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1929

Agnes Yewande Savage – 1929 - 1929

Image – reproduced courtesy of Mike Savage By Henry Mitchell Dr Agnes Yewande Savage, the was probably first West African woman to qualify in medicine. An outstanding student at Edinburgh, Agnes …

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1930
Ken “Snakehips” Johnson

Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson - 1930

Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, from Bourne, Mother Country. Image reproduced courtesy of Stephen Bourne By Lea Ventre Kenrick Reginald Hijmans Johnson never finished his studies at the University of Edinburgh. Alas, his …

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1936

Kesaveloo Goonam - 1936

Image – reproduced courtesy of the Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre By Henry Mitchell A cigarette-smoking, single mother of three, who graduated from Edinburgh in 1936, ran numerous successful medical practices and dressed …

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1937

Primary source material – ‘The cold or rather insulting attitude of their white fellow brothers and sisters’ – The Student - 1937

Primary source material reproduced from KAMJI, ‘Colour-bar in Theory or in Practice?’, The Student, 1937 On my asking the two Indian students who returned early from the Christmas Revels, held …

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Primary source material – ‘His appearance, his colour and his race were against him’ - 1937

Primary source material reproduced from Arthur Cecil Alport, The House of Curious: The Odyssey of a Father and Son, Etc. (London, 1937), pp. 64; 71-73. Studying medicine during the first five years …

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1938
DavidPitt

David Pitt - 1938

Image reproduced courtesy of the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh By Lea Ventre Lord David Thomas Pitt, Baron Pitt of Hampstead studied medicine at University of Edinburgh between 1932 …

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1940

Oku Ampofo - 1940

Illustration by Yaz SerranoI By Natasha Ruwona Dr. Oku Ampofo (1908-1998) of Mampong, Ghana, lived in Edinburgh from 1932 to 1940, and became the first Ghanaian to receive a government scholarship …

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1941

Hastings Banda - 1941

Image is a reproduction courtesy of the The National Archives, reference CO1069/165/5 By Henry Mitchell The University of Edinburgh renamed the Hastings ‘Kamuzu’ Banda building on Hill Place in the 1990s. Whilst …

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1944

Ansuyah Singh - 1944

Image – reproduced courtesy of Sangamithra Choudree By Laurence Jarlett Dr Ansuyah Singh studied medicine in Edinburgh during World War 2, arriving in 1936 and completing her studies in 1944. Born …

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1949
MatildaClerk

Matilda J. Clerk - 1949

Image reproduced courtesy of the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh By Fatima Seck Born in March 1916 in Larteh, Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) to a historical family that …

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1956

Asrat Woldeyes - 1956

Image – reproduced courtesy of Assefa Negash By Tom Cunningham On the 30th April 1998 Amnesty International issued an appeal “expressing serious concern” about the health and medical treatment of …

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1958

Florence Nwapa - 1958

Image – reproduced courtesy of Eljine Olga Nzeribe By Fatima Seck Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa — more commonly known as Flora Nwapa — is a woman whose accomplishments are impressive in …

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1959

Donald Locke - 1959

Image – reproduced courtesy of Brenda Locke and Tiffany Boyle By Natasha Ruwona Donald Locke (1930-2010) was born in Guyana and travelled to the UK to study art. In 1954 …

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1960
Semei Nyanzi

Semei Nyanzi - 1960

Image – reproduced courtesy of the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh University Students Association By Laurence Jarlett As a pre-eminent economist and prominent government participant, Semei Nyanzi …

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1963
Kenneth Ramchand

Kenneth Ramchand - 1963

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Hannah McGurk Kenneth Ramchand wrote his PhD on Caribbean literature between 1959 and 1963. He was a scholarship student from Trindad (Kayalis & Natsina, 2011). …

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1965

Geoff Palmer - 1965

Image courtesy of Professor Geoff Palmer By Natasha Ruwona Godfrey Henry Oliver Palmer, referred to now as Sir Geoff Palmer, was born in 1940 in Jamaica. Palmer joined his mother who was …

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1967

1967 – The Labour Government introduce differential fees for “foreign” students for the first time. - 1967

[Perraton, A History of Foreign Students in Britain]

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1972

Kole Omotoso - 1972

Illustration by Yaz Serrano By Fatima Seck Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso, more commonly known as Kole Omotoso, was born in Nigeria in 1943 to a traditional elite Yoruba family (Stellenbosch Writers, n.d). …

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1989

Primary source material – ‘A lot of young men, most of them in dressing gowns to keep warm’ - 1989

Primary source material reproduced from William Besson, Caribbean Reflections: The Life and Times of a Trinidad Scholar, 1901-1986 (London, 1989) On arrival, my friend [George Busby] took me to the …

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1991

Primary source material – ‘The world came to Scotland!’ – Kesaveloo Goonam - 1991

Primary source material reproduced from Kesaveloo Goonarathnum Naidoo, Coolie Doctor (Hyperbad, 1991) I was absorbed in the great melee of young people from all parts of the world – every …

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2018

Uncover_ED Twitter - 2018

2019
UncoverED promotional image

UncoverED exhibition launch - 2019

Join us at the UncoverED exhibition launch on 31 January 2019 in the Chrystal Macmillan building. Come along to preview the exhibition before its official opening in February. Here you …

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