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The Project

The Ekopolitan Project is an archive of family history sources on established and modern migrant communities in 19th and 20th century Lagos, Nigeria. The project is directed by Professor Abosede George, a Lagos native and scholar of modern African History at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York City.

Beginning in the early 1800s, the city of Lagos received migrant individuals, families, and groups from the Americas, the Caribbean, other areas of Yorubaland, West Africa and beyond. They brought with them their histories, languages, beliefs, and ambitions. Together, modern and established Lagosians shaped culture and society in the city their descendants call home.

The Ekopolitan Project seeks to document the histories of migrant communities in the environs of 19th and 20th century Lagos by collecting and digitizing their surviving records and migration stories. By environs of Lagos, we also mean places like Abeokuta, Ilesha, Badagry and other towns that had intimate social, political, economic, and cultural ties to 19th and 20th century Lagos. You are first invited to participate in this study by completing a genealogical survey. The survey includes questions about your individual background, your family background, and your family migration history. The results of the survey will be used for the completion of a scholarly book on the history of these migrant communities.

Why You Should Participate

By taking part in The Ekopolitan Project, you will make an invaluable contribution to the historical study of life in 19th and 20th century Lagos, which will be based heavily on the firsthand knowledge of everyday Lagosians themselves. Existing records in the Nigerian National Archives, British National Archives and other sources already contain information on the lives of well known Lagosians and their families. The histories and records of lesser known individuals and families will add to the larger history of Lagos during this period.

If you choose to participate, at the end of the survey you will be asked whether you would like to enhance your contributions to The Ekopolitan Project.  You may choose to enhance your contribution by scheduling an oral history interview, or by contributing copies of your family records, including birth certificates, marriage records, obituaries, photographs, travel records, newspaper clippings, wills, letters, or correspondences. All of your records will be kept in a secure location by Professor George.  After 25 years, the records will be donated to a reputable historical organization such as the National Archives of Nigeria. You will be contacted before the records are deposited with the archive to give your consent.

Terms of  Participation

Risks – It is possible that you may feel uncomfortable with some of the questions asked on the survey. If you do not feel comfortable with a question, you do NOT have to answer it.

Time Commitment – Completion of the survey should take approximately 10 – 15 minutes.

CompensationAs a token of our appreciation for your contribution, we will provide you with a formatted PDF copy of your family tree.

Click here to access the survey questions.