Sigismund Koelle

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Sigismund Wilhelm Kölle (14 July 1820, Cleebronn- 18 February 1902, London) was a German missionary, and pioneer scholar of African languages.

After training in a missionary house in Basle, he transferred in 1845 to the Church Missionary Society based in London. From 1847 he was in Sierra Leone.

There he collected a large sample of linguistic material, some of it from freed slaves. His major work Polyglotta Africana from 1854 began the serious study by European scholars of a large range of African languages

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