Introduction to the Empire & Commerce Cards

by Michèle Barrett

WoolfNotes has been extended to include the index cards on which the research for a publication by Leonard Woolf (Empire and Commerce in Africa, 1920) was recorded. Leonard Woolf did some of the research himself, and he had an assistant, Alix Sargant-Florence; but much of the research was done by Virginia Woolf, during the 1917-18 period.  Her elegant handwriting is easily recognizable on the written cards, and her very inaccurate typing can be seen on some of the typed ones.

CR 1 –  42  These are research notes from British Consular Reports from around the world.  They document imports, exports, and international trade generally, in written accounts and with statistics.  Virginia Woolf read and made notes from Consular Reports from countries from The Argentine to Zanzibar, nearing 700 research cards.  They were compiled for a book on International Trade that Leonard Woolf was going to write, but he decided instead to focus on Africa.   They are mainly in Virginia Woolf’s handwriting.

B 1 – 19  These are Virginia Woolf’s research notes from books that she read to inform the treatment of Africa and imperialism in Leonard Woolf’s book.  The works of figures such as F D Lugard, author of The Rise of Our East African Empire, and other imperialists are included, as are the accounts of historians such as Jean Darcy, P. L. McDermott and Augustus Wylde.  This collection of notes includes many that are typed more competently than Virginia Woolf typed, or written in a different hand (either by Leonard Woolf or Alix Sargent-Florence).  They have all been scanned and included, as they form the context for the cards that are obviously made by Virginia Woolf.

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