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McSweeney, William J. and Bernice papers, 1957-1962 | Amistad Research Center

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Title: McSweeney, William J. and Bernice papers, 1957-1962
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William J. and Bernice McSweeney lived and taught in Uganda during the late 1950s and early 1960s while taking part in a Trades and Technical Institute program sponsored by the International Cooperation Administration, which was the precursor to USAID. Mr. McSweeney taught at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana, through which the McSweeneys participated in the educational program. Working through the Kampala Technical Institute, William taught basic electricity while Bernice taught sewing.

The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, two scrapbooks of news clippings, receipts, and printed ephemera. The correspondence is mostly from the McSweeneys to their daughters, Alice and Ann Lee, in New Orleans. There is also correspondence to the McSweeneys from their cook, Samson, and their gardener, Erioti, concerning their wages. The scrapbooks document a visit by Queen Elizabeth to Uganda, as well as the formation of the Uganda National Movement. Also present are seven 8mm films, along with four Betacam SP copies, of footage taken by the McSweeneys during their time in Africa and during other travels.  Moving image footage includes urban and rural scenes in Uganda, Kenya, and Zanzibar (specific locations include: Kampala and Masindi in Uganda, Kaptagat and the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, and Zanzibar Town on Zanzibar); African wildlife; African youth dancing; and a track and field competition. Additional footage includes travels by the McSweeneys throughout Europe.



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