Center for Research Libraries - Global Resources Network

Resources for


African Studies

Collecting for African Studies has advanced considerably since the development of the scholarly field in the 1950s. Many established vendors now supply books, serials, and newspapers published in Africa (or relating to Africa from other countries). The African Books Collective represents more than 120 independent African publishers from 21 countries, distributing African-published works to North America and worldwide. The Library of Congress field offices based in Nairobi and Cairo cover more than 35 African countries through the LC’s cooperative acquisition programs. 


Cooperation among Africana librarians in North America remains the rule rather than the exception. The Africana Librarians Council (est. 1958) fosters communication and information sharing among libraries and individuals. The Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP) (1963) promotes collaborative approaches to collection, preservation, and access to rare, expensive, or fragile primary and secondary source material from Africa.


Technical infrastructure and capacity in Africa continue to improve over time, but the majority of publications from Africa remain “offline.” Digitization projects in North America, Europe, and Africa are emerging to provide access to books, serials, dissertations, multimedia, and archival collections. Challenges to efficient collection of materials from Africa remain daunting. International collaboration and partnerships with institutions in Africa are key for improving access to resources and ensuring sustainability.


Current research trends in Africa reflect the changing nature of international and Area Studies. In addition to the historically strong focus on anthropology, economics, history, and political science, new scholarly work is being produced in the fields of agriculture, education, environmentalism, health and medicine, law, conflict and human rights, and the natural sciences.

CRL Collections

    CRL’s collection of African-related resources contains a wide variety of newspapers, monographs, archival collections, serials, government publications, and dissertations, spanning four centuries and covering virtually every country in Africa. Significant country strengths include South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, materials related to Africa are collected from sources in the U.S., England (particularly from the British Library and National Archives), France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, and others. The major institutional focus for the collection of Africana at CRL has been provided by the Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP). CAMP acquires major microfilm sets and conducts original microfilming and digitization of resources for preservation and wider accessibility. These collections provide a depth of content that augment CRL’s scholarly resources.

    African Newspapers

    African newspapers in microform

    CRL and CAMP have collected more than 1,400 African newspapers on approximately 12,000 reels of microfilm. Coverage includes every country of Sub-Saharan Africa and spans from 1800 to the present. CRL subscribes to current newspapers on microfilm, acquires backfiles on demand, and engages in original microfilming of selected titles. For additional details, consult the CRL catalog scope for newspapers and search by country.

    Catalog Record
    World Newspaper Archive – African Newspapers

    Part of the World Newspaper Archive (a partnership of CRL libraries and Readex, a division of NewsBank), African Newspapers currently provides digital access to more than 40 fully searchable African newspapers published between 1800 and 1922. This collection is available to CRL institutions for an additional fee. See the project Web site for more information.

    Census Reports and Statistical Publications

    African Census Reports
    Library of Congress

    This set includes about 26 census reports of various dates for Botswana, French West Africa, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rhodesia (Northern and Southern), Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zanzibar.

    Catalog Record · Electronic Version
    African official statistical serials on microfiche.
    Chadwyck-Healey (ProQuest)

    Includes statistical yearbooks, bulletins, and other statistical sources published by African national governments (43 countries represented). Topics cover demography, administration, finance, commerce, industry, labor, agriculture, education, law, and public health. Titles are cataloged separately: click here to browse by series.

    Catalog Record

    Colonial Documentation

    Germany. Reichskolonialamt
    Bundesarchiv (Germany)

    Records of the German Ministry for Colonial Affairs (Reichskolonialamt). CRL holds the complete set of the Reichskolonialamt microfilm set “R1001.” This set covers Akte 1-9788 of the archives, and contains information on colonial policy, affairs relating to the African colonies, economics and trade, land and forestry, foreign affairs, and command of the colonial force. The Bundesarchiv hosts an online guide and a useful introduction to the collection.

    Catalog Record · Guide
    Irish University Press series of British parliamentary papers : Colonies: Africa.
    Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
    Irish University Press

    Papers included are selected from House of Commons sessional and command papers for 1801 to 1899. The papers provide important source material for the history of the African continent during the period.

    Catalog Record
    Justice indigène, 1838-1954
    Archives du Sénégal

    Contains statistics of judgments, reviews of court decisions, and administrative reports on divisional courts ("tribunaux des cercles") and sub-divisional courts regularly sent from interior posts to the colonial administration in Dakar, Senegal as part of a process of legal oversight and review.  Part of the CAMP/Title VI National Resource Centers for Africa collaboration with the National Archives of Senegal.

    Catalog Record · Guide

    Government Publications

    Annual departmental reports relating to African countries prior to independence

    See: Government Publications relating to African countries prior to independence.

    Catalog Record
    Government Publications relating to African countries prior to independence
    Microform Academic Publishers

    Covers departmental reports, Blue Books, government gazettes, and other reports relating to colonial rule in Africa. Reports feature topics such as colonial administration, law, commerce, finance, transportation and public works, social services, and more. CAMP has acquired nearly every available set of “Annual Departmental Reports” and “Government Publications,” including: Basutoland; Cape of Good Hope; Gambia; Gold Coast and British Togoland; Kenya and the East Africa High Commission; Nigeria and British Cameroons; Northern Rhodesia; Nyasaland; Sierra Leone; Southern Rhodesia; Tanganyika; and Uganda. Each set has a related catalog record, with selected reports cataloged individually.

    Catalog Record · Guide

    Missionary Archives and Records

    Church Missionary Society: Records, 1803?-1914.
    Church Missionary Society

    The Church of England formed the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1799 by the to support European missionaries traveling to Africa and the East. CAMP’s collection covers Committee of Correspondence minutes, 1799–1880, as well as incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, and papers from the CMS missions in West Africa, Sierra Leone, Yoruba, Niger, South Africa, East Africa Kenya, Nyanza, Uganda, Tanganyika, Northern Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritius and Madagascar, and Palestine. This set closely parallels the commercially produced collection by Adam Matthew Publications, but contains unique material.

    Catalog Record · Guide
    Paris Evangelical Missionary Society Archives, 1822-1947
    Société des missions évangéliques de Paris

    This collection from the archives of the Société des missions évangéliques (founded 1822) includes incoming correspondence (1827–1947) from the missionary fields in Algeria, Cameroun, Congo-Gabon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Senegal, Togo and Zambia. This collection also contains the "Home Files" from the archives. These files contain outgoing correspondence, minutes (1822–1935) and reports (1833–1986) of the Society, including its Auxiliary Committees. It also contains records of the various Consultive Conferences (1900–31). CAMP collection.

    Catalog Record · Guide

    Politics and Government

    Karis-Gerhart Collection - South African Political Materials 1964-1990
    Cooperative Africana Microform Project

    Collected reports, interviews, political and trade union documents, and biographical files of important individuals and organizations in South Africa for the period 1964–90. Examples include the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress, Inkatha, black consciousness organizations, and the United Democratic Front. Assembled in the process of writing From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882-1990.

    Catalog Record · Guide
    Wallerstein Collection of Political Ephemera of the Liberation Movements of Lusophone Africa and Anglophone Southern Africa
    Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice, 1930-

    Includes serials and other materials from political organizations in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa (1954–75). Serials cataloged individually.

    Catalog Record

    Slavery, Slave Trade & Abolition

    Irish University Press series of British parliamentary papers : Slave Trade.
    Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons
    Irish University Press

    This reprint edition is part of the Irish University Press series of British parliamentary papers. Selected from House of Commons sessional and command papers for 1801–99, these papers provide source material for the history of Africa of the period.

    Catalog Record
    Slavery and Manumission Manuscripts of Timbuktu
    Bibliothèque Commémorative Mama Haidara

    Digitized versions of approximately 200 19th-century manuscripts (in Arabic) relating to slavery and manumission in Timbuktu. These provide documentation on Africans in slavery in Muslim societies.

    Catalog Record · Electronic Version
    The Slave trade, 1858-1892 : British Foreign Office : collection 541, confidential print series
    Great Britain. Foreign Office

    Correspondence and reports regarding the slave trade from British slave trade commissioners and naval officers worldwide. Files are divided chronologically and by category.

    Catalog Record

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