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Morija Archives Overview

The Morija Archives hosts a unique collection assembled by missionnaries since late 19th century, that forms part of the unique history of the Basotho nation. It covers colonial records, missionnary registers, ancient newspapers and valuable material in French as well as German and many African languages including of course Sesotho.

The Morija Archives hosts a unique collection of 19th century documents, consolidated by the first missionary to Masitise, Rev. DF Ellenberger (1835-1920). This valuable collection was preserved and greatly augmented over the past century, most notably by Rev. Albert Brutsch (1916-2000) who was responsible for the archives from the mid-1950s until 1999. The Archives include not only the archives of the Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC), which was previously known as the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS), but also thousands of rare books on Lesotho and southern Africa, journals and newspaper collections, government publications, academic theses, grey literature, maps, photographs and other valuable documentation.

The Morija Archives contain tens of thousands of documents which are currently being catalogued. With time, the most important items will be digitised and placed on-line to facilitate research.

The Archives holds material which helps researchers understand more fully the unique history of the Basotho nation. This treasure includes colonial records such as Blue books, government gazettes, governmental reports, a wide range of missionary correspondence, church registers, and the first newspaper in Lesotho from 1863 to date called Leselinyana. There is also a wide collection of material in French, the most valuable being Journal des Missions Evangeliques, and a few books in German. A Linguistic section contains material in many other African languages as well as a large collection of books written in the local official language, Sesotho.

There are hundreds of photographs, maps, and monographs, dealing with Lesotho and mission work in general. The history of education, a fine collection of Music including the first hymnals in the Sesotho laguage, Lifela tsa Sione, and many of the published works of the most renowned Basotho composers of choral music such as J.P. Mohapeloa and others.

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