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Finding Aid for the David P. Gamble papers
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Anthropologist David P. Gamble was born in 1920 in Northern Ireland and passed away in California in 2011 after a long career of research and teaching. The collection contains a variety of material related to Gamble’s more than six decades of work on The Gambia and its peoples. Copies of the anthropologist’s publications on Gambian history, economics, languages, and cultures are included, along with many of the notes, maps, illustrations, primary sources, and secondary sources from which he generated these studies. Gamble’s output was wide-ranging, but of special note are his contributions to the bibliography of The Gambia; the ethno-linguistic study of Wolof, Mandinka, and Fula; and the early history of the Gambia River region.
David P. Gamble was born in 1920 in Northern Ireland and passed away in California in 2011 after a long career of anthropological research and teaching. Completing his undergraduate studies at University College, London in 1941, Gamble spent several years assisting with archaeological and physical studies of highland communities in Northern Ireland. After a brief stint in the Royal Engineers, he joined the Colonial Administrative Service in 1944 in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), taking up posts in Tarkwa, Axim, and Sekondi. At that time, Gamble’s academic supervisor Daryll Forde, who was then Director of the International African Institute, began conceiving a series of studies, later known as the Ethnographic Survey of Africa, which aimed to fill wide gaps in ethnographic knowledge of the continent. The Gambia was viewed as a site in need of research. Gamble’s other mentor, economic anthropologist Raymond Firth, also conducted a survey of what was then British West Africa and came to the same conclusion. At Forde’s and Firth’s urging, Gamble conducted field research among Mandinka, Wolof, Jola, and Fula communities in The Gambia between 1946 and 1958, initially with the support of a Colonial Research Fellowship and later as a Research Officer under The Gambia Government. With a dissertation on the socioeconomic conditions of the Mandinka village Kerewan, Gamble earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of London in 1958. The anthropologist returned to The Gambia for research numerous times between 1963 and 1986. Published in 1967, Gamble’s The Wolof of Senegambia, Together with Notes on the Lebu and the Serer became a valuable addition to Forde’s Ethnographic Survey. Among many other publications, Gamble produced a 52-volume series of studies on Gambian history, society, and culture, titled Gambian Studies (1977-2007). In 1999, as a culmination of his work on early Gambian history, Gamble edited a scholarly edition of The Discovery of River Gambra (1623) by Richard Jobson.
68 linear ft. (54 record cartons, 32 document boxes, 3 flat boxes)
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.