Archives of German-Samoa Colonial Administration from 1900 to 1914

The Archives of the German-Samoa Colonial Admistration cover the period 1900 to 1914 and provide a unique picture of German colonisation in the Pacific. Samoa was Germany’s last colonial acquisition in the Pacific and during the period the people of Samoa experienced a great number of political and cultural changes. The changes are historically important in their own right as well as providing the context for significant future developments in the nation’s history that led to independence in 1962 and the development of Samoa as a modern nation.

The period up to 1914 was a time of intense international and strategic competition that led to the First World War. The archives provide a unique insight into Germany’s colonial expansion in the Pacific as well as into administrative procedures and life in general during this period. They provide information on the way the German administration supported the work of the German missionaries that changed the nature of Samoan social relationships and on the way it supported economic exchanges that had wider implications for the Pacific region.

The archives contain correspondence, notes, reports, personal information and policy documents arising from the political and commercial activities of the German authorities in Samoa. The later records from 1913-1914 provide insights into the politics and personal views of colonists leading up to World War I. The documents are mainly written in German but also in English, Samoan and Chinese, reflecting the cultural diversity of the area at the time.

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The archives are stored in Apia at the National Archives and Records Authority of Samoa. ~ the National Archives and Records Authority of Samoa