Skip to main content

Sean Gervasi papers

Identifier: MSS 464 large
The Sean Gervasi papers contain personal letters and papers from Gervasi and other leading Africanists and politicians as well as unpublished typescripts, documents, and publications.


  • 1970-1990

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Access The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.


14 Linear Feet (17 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Sean David Orlando Gervasi (1932-1996) was an economist, academic, foreign policy advocate, and member of the Concerned Citizens’ Committee on Africa. He worked for the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Namibia (under Nobel Peace Prize winner Sean MacBride) and the United Nations Centre against Apartheid. His research and analysis provided the foundations of a consistent critique of the impact of U.S. investment in Southern Africa. In December 1975 he issued a report revealing the continuing escalation in Angola by South Africa and the involvement of the United States in supplying arms via Zaire. In July 1977 he testified in Congress on arms sales to South Africa by the U.S., Britain, Italy, and France. In the 1980’s he probed Pretoria’s violent war of destabilization against the newly independent neighboring states of Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, and provided decisive criticism of the Reagan constructive engagement policies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by his widow Heather Cottin.

Alternative Title

Sean Gervasi Africa collection
Finding Aid for the Sean Gervasi papers
Finding aid prepared by Peter Limb, updated by Kristen Lawless, July 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48824 USA