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.
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.