Collection inventory

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Lalage J. Bown Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: DLH
Date: Nov 1987

Biographical History

Lalage J. Bown was born in Surrey, U.K. in 1927 but spent much of her professional career in Africa, establishing or expanding adult education programs at various universities in Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria. She attended Cheltenham Ladies' College and the University of Oxford, where she took Second Class Honors in Modern History (1949) and then continued on to an M.A. (1952). She taught briefly at the University of Edinburgh before relocating to Africa where she taught at the University College of the Gold Coast, Ghana; Makerere University College, Uganda; University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Zambia; Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria; and the University of Lagos. In most of these positions, she was involved in either establishing or substantially enhancing Adult Education and extension programs and/or departments. She also directed or chaired various short-term programs including an 8-week Peace Corps training program at the University of California, a Carnegie Foundation training program for African diplomats, and a seminar for diplomats working in London.

She was involved in many programs for teaching African literature and arts in the various parts of Nigeria, and among other things in the organization of the first-ever conference on African culture to be held on African soil. She was also the first organizing secretary of the International Congress of Africanists. Her book Two Centuries of African English (Heinemann, 1973) arose directly from efforts to Africanize the curriculum, both in formal education and in the wider community.

In 1975 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Open University "for services to the education of the underprivileged," and the William Pearson Tolley Award from Syracuse University, the first woman to receive this award. In 1981 she returned to the U.K., accepting a position with the Department of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow. In 2002 that institution awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lalage J. Bown Papers primarily contains material related to conferences, seminars and workshops held by various adult education organizations in Africa. There is also printed material relating to adult and continuing education programs at various colleges and universities in Africa, Hong Kong, India and the West Indies; various issues of African adult education journals and newsletters, and a few photographs (unidentified). The bulk of the material dates from 1971-1979.

Biographical information includes a c.v. from 1979. Associations comprises folders of constitutions, resolutions and other informational documents of various organizations. Conferences contains proceedings and other matter related to various conferences and is organized alphabetically, as are the Meetings, Seminars, and Workshops series. Printed material includes informational material on colleges, universities, and adult education programs in Africa, Hong Kong, India and the West Indies, followed by miscellaneous printed material in alphabetical order.

The following organizations are heavily represented: African Adult Education Association (formerly the Adult Education Association of East and Central Africa, AEAECA); Distance Education Association of Southern Africa (formerly the Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland Correspondence Committee); International Congress of University Adult Education (ICUAE); Nigerian National Council for Adult Education (NNCAE); and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Individuals represented (usually by conference presentation or paper) include A.A. Ali, S.B. Allen, William Cave, J.E. Chilipweli, S. Cooppan, David Crowley, P.O.H. Dada, O.L. Farrag, Soloman Inquai, J.H. Mwanakatwe, A.H. Nasution, J.T. Okedara, J. Paulus, E.A. Tugbiyele, Abdelwahid A. Yousif.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Allen, S. R.
Bown, Lalage J.
Cave, William M.
Chilipweli, J. E.
Cooppan, S. (Somarsundarum)
Crowley, David.
Inquai, Solomon.
Nasution, Amir H.
Tugbiyele, E. A.
Yousif, Abdelwahid Abdalla.

Corporate Bodies

Adult Education Association of East and Central Africa.
African Adult Education Association.
Botswana Lesotho Swaziland Correspondence Committee.
Distance Education Association of Southern Africa.
International Congress of University Adult Education.
Nigerian National Council for Adult Education.


Adult education -- Africa.
Adult education -- China -- Hong Kong.
Adult education -- India.
Adult education -- West Indies.
Adult educators -- Training of.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Notes (documents)
Papers (document genres)


Adult educators.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lalage J. Bown Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Lalage J. Bown.

Table of Contents

Biographical information






Printed material