African libraries, African Archives

African Libraries, African Archives

See also: South African libraries and archives

Africa Research Central
Site has closed. In English and French. A extensive database on African studies archives / libraries / museums and a database of repository wish lists.Provides access conditions, restrictions, important holdings, collection size, year founded, publications, references, related sites. Maintained by Prof. Kathryn Green and Dr. Susan Tschabrun at California State University, Fullerton.  

Africa University (Mutare)
A private university funded by the United Methodist Church. Opened March 1992. The first faculties are theology, agriculture, and natural resources. Has a library and students from 20 African countries. Based in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

African Digital Curation Conference
1st African Digital Management and Curation Conference and Workshop, 12 and 13 February 2008, at the CSIR Convention Centre, Pretoria [South Africa].
Includes speech of the Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; State of Scientific Data in Africa, Dr Achuo Enow , International Council for Science, Regional Office for Africa; Oceanographic Data and Information Initiatives in Africa, Alfonse Dubi, University of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Marine Sciences; Digital Curation : the Legal Framework in South Africa, Graham Dominy, National Archives, South Africa; Data integration at the South African Data Archive (SADA), Dr Daisy Selematsela, National Research Foundation; Curation of Spatial Data in RSA, facilitated by Heidi van Deventer, CSIR and Maryna Strydom (SRK); Digitisation - the 3 Cs: Copyright, Contracts and Creative Commons, Denise Nicholson, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

African Digital Library
Provides free access (to anyone accessing from Africa) to full text books. If a "user's domain name can be identified as being in Africa, users are able to receive registrations immediately." "The library is being established by Technikon South Africa's Center for Lifelong Learning and the Association of African Universities in collaboration with netLibrary, a private American company" - Africa News, 8 Nov. 1999.

African Digital Repositories
Find full text dissertations, theses, reports, journal articles from African universities.

African Film Library
"The African Library of Ouagadougou was founded in 1989 on the 20th Anniversary of FESPACO." Information from the Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) site. [KF]

African Heritage Research Library
"African Heritage Research Library (AHRL) was established March, 1988 at Ila Orangun, Osun State, Nigeria,..." Information on the site.

African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science
Has the table of contents and abstracts. Editorial offices in Gaborone, Botswana and Ibadan, Nigeria.

African Librarians' Advocacy Group. AVLIN Advocacy Forum for Libraries in Development”
Discussion forum for African librarians to advocate for libraries and information services at the highest level on the continent. Created out of meetings at the UNECA's Committee on Development Information (CODI III) May 2003. Register before 4 August 2003. Send the following (Names, Organization, Country, Email address) to Mrs Petrina Amonoo, Chief Librarian, UNECA at: and a copy to the forum adminstrator at:  Website:

African Library and Information Associations and Institutions, AfLIA 
"independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, ..." Has a directory of members, a directory of academic libraries, library associations, library nonprofits, library training institutions, reports. Has Suite of COVID-19 Resources for Librarians which lists free web content, many for children.  Based in Accra, Ghana. 

African Library Project
"The African Library Project partners with volunteers in African communities to create small libraries for African schools and villages. The......Project makes it easy for U.S. children to recycle their books in order to share the gift of reading with children in Africa." Has detailed Book Drive Guidelines, works with San Francisco Bay Area schools. Founded by Chris Bradshaw of Portola Valley, California.

African Studies Thesaurus
"A structured vocabulary of 12,100 English terms in the field of African studies, the African Studies Thesaurus is developed and maintained by staff at the library of the African Studies Centre Leiden." Includes " the names of countries and regions, ethnic groups, African languages, African polities and political parties in Africa." "British English is preferred, but American-English variants are included as non-preferred terms."

African Virtual University
Project, formerly led by the World Bank, now independent, to build world-class degree programs for the education of scientists, technicians,engineers, business managers, health care providers, and other professionals. "The AVU will offer university degree programs in science, technology, and medical fields; noncredit training and seminars; remedial instruction; and electronic library services." Lectures by professors in the US and Europe will be sent by satellite to African universities. Participants include the Univ. of Massachusetts, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Indiana University, and others. In French, Portuguese, and English. [KF]

Afrique Orale - Archives sonores et ressources documentaires de la tradition orale en Afrique
In French. Includes a database of citations to the oral recordings held by research institutes such as the Centre d'études linguistiques et historiques par tradition orale (CELHTO) in Niamey, Niger and the full text of the 1236 Charte de Kurukan Fuga, un document fondateur de l'empire du Mali. Has links to papers such as "La Tradition Orale : de la collecte à la numérisation" by A. Raphaël NDIAYE, an audio file of Boubou Hama on African history, links to a site about Amadou Hampâté BA. [KF]

Ahmadu Bello University
"established in 1962 by the Government of the then Northern Region of Nigeria" Home of the Kashim Ibrahim Library. The Library has an Open Access Institutional Repository with online research. Based in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Ahmadu Bello University, Arewa House. Centre for Historical Documentation and Research.
"is concerned with procuring, preserving, analyzing and discussing issues of national and International interest and in particular with issues of specific interest to the development of northern Nigeria." holds "books and manuscripts including higher degree dissertations from various Universities in Nigeria and abroad." Has a "rare collection of Arabic manuscripts, Premier’s office records, government publications, Newspapers and other serial publications, Based in Zaria, Nigeria.

Its Arabic Manuscript collection has c 1,400 MSS from four private collections - Modibbo Ahmadu Fofure Collection, the Sheikh Ahmad Arabi Jos Collection, the Mallam Musa Ganan Daji Jos Collection, and the Mallam Ahmad Gwaraje, Kiyawa Collection. Mss. date from the 14th to 20th century. Topics include politics, history, grammar poetry, astronomy, traditional medicine, Mahdism, etc. They are in Arabic, Ajami and Naskh script. 

Aluka Project
"Aluka's mission is to build and support a sustainable, online database of scholarly resources from the developing world, beginning in Africa,..." Its three projects are African Cultural Heritage Sites, African Plants, and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa. Aluka is part of the non-profit, Ithaka, funded by the Mellon Foundation.

American Library Association. International Relations Office - African Regional Library Associations
Directory of associations. Published by the ALA - IRC. Africa Subcommittee.

American University in Cairo. Library
AUC is the first library from the Middle East to join the Research Libraries Group (RLG). Has a bibliography on the new Alexandria Library. One can search their library catalog to locate, for example, theses on women in the Sudan and other topics.

American University of Nigeria. Library
Has an online catalog. It publishes a Newsletter. "founded by the Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, and a group of Nigerians interested in creating a world-class, American-style University in Nigeria." "...established with the support of the American University in Washington DC." Schools of Arts & Sciences, Entrepreneurship & Business Management, and Information Technology & Communications and an American curriculum. Based in Yola, Nigeria.

Annuaire des archives et des bibliotheques nationales, des bibliotheques parlementaires et des centres nationaux d'information scientifique et technique de la francophonie
Select a Francophone African country to locate addresses of libraries and archives in the country:
For ex. for Chad:
Published by the Canadian organization, Banque internationale d'information sur les Etats francophones.

Anonymous Classics: African Literature: Epics and Assimilated (in pdf)
Draft of proposed uniform title headings for Anonymous Classics in African Literature. Compiled by Nadine Boddaert. Includes a bibliography of sources (for pre-colonial epics, oral literature). On the website of the IFLA Cataloging Section.

Archival & Library Holdings in West Africa
L'Afrique à Paris 7 site lists some African archival and library holdings:

Site maintained by P. Boilley and I. Mande. Universite Paris 7:
Laboratoire Societes en Developpement dans l'Espace et dans le Temps (SEDET) - Universite Paris 7

Association des Bibliothécaires, Archivistes et Documentalistes du Burundi, ABADBU
In French. Based in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Association des documentalistes du Gabon
Has a newsletter, Bulletin de Liaison de l'Association des Documentalistes du Gabon. Based in Libreville Gabon. E-mail:

Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa, AHILA
"...a professional association founded in 1984 with now 46 country members." Hosts a discussion list, AHILA-net, for health librarians and documentalists from Africa. Has a Membership Directory, publishes the African Index Medicus. [KF]

Association internationale francophone des bibliothécaires et documentalistes, AIFBD
In French. Has a large directory of libraries, a directory of professional associations, a directory of journals.

Benin. Direction des Archives Nationales

Benin. Archives Nationales du Benin - UNESCO Information
In French. Describes the collections, publications, a photo exhibition of contemporary Benin, 1962 photographs, etc.
In French. Site of the French-speaking library community. Has a directory of African libraries and documentation centers, directory of African library associations, library schools, and French library journals and e-resources. [KF]

Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis. Library
"The library aims at building comprehensive collections in the social sciences subject areas particularly in economics, statistics, public administration and social welfare."

[Burkina Faso] Bibliothèque Nationale du Burkina
In French. National Library of Burkina Faso. On the web site of the Burkina Faso Ministère de la Culture, des Arts et du Tourisme.

Cape Town Book Fair, June 17-20, 2006
"Cape Town will host the first ever international book fair to be held in South Africa in June 2006. With the signing of a joint venture agreement between the the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) and the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and, Cape Town will be partnering with the largest and most successful book fair organisation in the world. " Announcement on the Frankfurt Book Fair site.

[Cape Verde] Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro de Cabo Verde
In Portuguese. The National Library of Cape Verde opened in 1999. Has an on-line catalog. Publishes books. Descriptions of books for sale. Based in Praia, Cape Verde.

Carnegie Corporation - "Revitalizing African Libraries: The Challenge of a Quiet Crisis"
Full text of the report, in Adobe PDF format. 10 pages. The Carnegie Corporation of New York is based in New York city.

Caruso, Joseph. Report on the CAMP-Title VI Joint Acquisitions Project in Senegal, West Africa.
Reports (1995 +) by Dr. Caruso on a archival microfilming project and acquisitions trips sponsored by libraries of the Dept. of Education Title VI African Studies Centers and by CAMP, Cooperative Africana Microform Project.

Popular software from UNESCO used by many African libraries.
See the CDS / ISIS Namibia site for information about use of this database for libraries. There is a CDS / ISIS User Forum.

Centre Aequatoria, Centre de Recherches Culturelles Africanistes
"...a research center, library, and collection of archives, ...specialized in the languages, cultures, and the (pre-colonial and colonial) history of sub-Saharan Africa, with special emphasis on the peoples of the central Congo basin." Publishes Annales Aequatoria. The Centre is "located on the premises of the Catholic mission station of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (Missionnaires du Sacre-Coeur, MSC)" near Mbandaka. Lists titles in their Etudes Aequatoria series.
See also the Aequatoria Archives Research Project

Chisenga, Justin
Mr. Chisenga is on the faculty of the Department of Information and Communication Studies, University of Namibia. Has full text papers by Chisenga.
"Copyright Laws, Digital Information & Libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Namibian Experience"
"Global information infrastructure and the question of African content" (1999)
"Surfing technological waves: continuing education at the University of Namibia Library" (1998)
"Global Information and Libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa"
Nambia Internet Monitor - Site to provide general information about the development and use of the Internet and links to useful Internet resources in Namibia. [KF]

Chisenga, Justin - "Y2K and Computerised Library Systems"
This paper discusses how the Y2K problem is likely to affect computerised library systems.It was presented at the Standing Conference of African National and University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS) 1998. Chisenga is Lecturer, Department of Information and Communication Studies, University of Namibia.

CODESRIA Conference: Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, September 1-2, Dakar, Senegal
Full text conference papers are online. Includes:

  • Impact of the ICT Revolution on the African Academic Landscape
  • Old problem, New Strategies: Internet as a Tool for Research in Africa
  • Etude sur les TIC et les pratiques de recherche d’information, chez les enseignants et chercheurs universitaires ivoiriens
  • The Challenges and Possibilities of New Media in African Scholarship: The Case of Safundi and U.S.-South African Comparative Studies
  • Free Access and Reasonable Remuneration: Electronic Publishing and the Copyright Question
  • Scientific content creation and dissemination: opportunities for African universities in electronic publishing
  • The Role of Information Professionals in the Digital Age : The Role of Librarians
  • The Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD)

Archives of Post-Independence Africa and its Diaspora, Dakar, Senegal, June 20-23, 2012 - " international conference...organized by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the African Studies Centre, Leiden (ASC), and the University of California African Studies Multicampus Research Group (MRG). Includes "a public debate, training workshop, film screening, as well as four keynote addresses and academic panels."
First International Conference on African Digital Libraries & Archives (ICADLA-1- Held 1-3 July 2009, United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Program with some abstracts and presentation on-line. Hosted by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
African Digital Scholarship and Curation Conference, Pretoria, 12-14 May 2009 - Held at the CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. Some papers presented are on-line. See also the 1st African Digital Curation Conference 2008.
International Association of School Librarianship. 2003 Annual Conference, Durban, South Africa, 7-11 July 2003 - Site has closed. Hosted "a free virtual conference session for IASL members who are unable to attend the conference in person. This virtual conference sessions will consist of the Keynote Paper from Dr Ross Todd (which will be available on this IASL conference web site during the conference week), and an email discussion throughout the week on IASL-LINK (the discussion list for IASL members)."

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana, CARLIGH
A consortium of academic and research libraries in Ghana.

Cybrarian of Note
Blog by Nigerian librarian, Samuel A. Eyitayo.

Davies, Jack L. - Civic Webs Virtual Library

Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa
Established 2016. Publishes the Journal of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa, a peer-reviewed open-access journal.

DISSAnet, Development of Information Science in South Africa
Has published the proceedings of the ProLISSA conferences (2000 and 2002) and the SCECSAL 2002 conference. Includes full text papers re Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, etc. Organizes conferences for graduate level library science students., Electronic Information for Libraries
" is an independent foundation..... for the wide availability of electronic resources by library users in transition and developing countries. Its main focus is on negotiating affordable subscriptions on a multi-country consortial basis, while supporting the enhancement of emerging national library consortia in member countries." The eIFL-IP section concerns intellectual property issues and will "create national and regional expertise in copyright issues for libraries, will pro-actively monitor the latest developments and will provide tools, resources and specialistadvice." Has on-line a model license contract. Web site based in Prato, Italy. [KF]

[Eritrea] Research and Documentation Centre, RDC (Asmara, Eritrea)
Eritrea's national archives which developed from the pre-independence period Research and Information Centre of Eritrea (RICE). The Centre is responsible for records of the government ministries and departments. Describes collections, preservation activities, etc. [KF]

ESARBICA, East and Southern Africa Regional Branch, Interantional Council on Archives
An organization of "individuals and institutions concerned with the creation, use, preservation and management of recorded information in Eastern and Southern Africa."

FESPACO African Film Library
The film library was founded in 1989 in connection with the FESPACO film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The FESPACO official web site also has issues of the FESPACO Newsletter and FESPACO News (1997) , the latter issued only during the film festival. No. 9-1997 lists the film award winners at the 15th 1997 FESPACO.

Ford Foundation. Secrets of the Sahara. By Christopher Reardon
Secrets of the Sahara is a well-written account of efforts by Mali scholars to preserve manuscripts from the 14th century onwards. "Dozens of families in Timbuktu are working to preserve a trove of ancient manuscripts that may redefine the history of Islam and Africa." "Many of the ancient texts date back to the Songhaï empire, a prosperous kingdom that peaked in the 15th and 16th centuries." Topics cover "astronomy, mathematics, medicine and geography. There are poems and folk tales."

Friends of African Village Libraries
A non-profit whose founders are two Santa Clara University professors, Michael Kevane and Leslie Gray. It is involved in the construction, stocking, and management of village libraries in Burkina Faso and has organized a conference of village librarians. See the 9 page report, in French (Adobe pdf), by the Président de l'Association Bibliotheques de Village de Burkina Faso. Carlotte Vallaeys is program coordinator. Based in San Jose, California. [KF]
Has a blog. Jose Mercury News (San Jose, CA) article, July 18, 2007. "Santa Clara professors build non-profit to benefit African libraries." Access after providing your email address.

Ghana. Public Records and Archives Administration Department (Accra, Ghana)
Formerly Ghana National Archives. Has addresses of the Regional Offices, a list of documents relating to the trans-atlantic slave trade (including images of some documents). Observers thirty years access to records. E-mail:

Global Development Network - Free Journal Access
Offers to scholars in developing countries free online access to thousands of full-text journal articles in social science journals. GDN-NA connects developing country researchers with researchers in North America. The Free Journal Access is a project of the Center for Global Development, GDN, and Project MUSE of the Johns Hopkins University Press. [KF]

Guidelines for Legislation for National Library Services
The Guidelines, prepared by Peter Johan Lor assisted by Elizabeth Sonnekus, were published by Unesco in Paris in 1997 and can be  obtained from Unesco.

Histoire de l'Afrique de l'Ouest
In French. Site created by historians from West African universities. Contents include un annuaire des historiens [with current research, publications, activities), news (conferences, publications, etc.), chronologies for West Africa and each of the countries covered: Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Mali, Sénégal. Has historical maps from the book, Afrique Noire. Histoire et civilisations, edited by Elikia M'BOKOLO (Paris, Hatier, 2004 - right click and open separately for a larger map) and a bibliography on West African history. Has a databases of citations to history theses (Mémoires, maîtrises, DEA et thèses) from West African universities completed from 1970 à 2004 and "une sélection [of citations] d'archives sur le Burkina Faso recensées et conservées au Mali (at the Archives Nationales du Mali, Koulouba). Has links to related sites. The web site has support from the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie. [KF]

IDEAL is now ScienceDirect
IDEAL ceased the end of 2002. "Since December 27, 2002, all IDEAL links automatically redirect to ScienceDirect. So, users will find IDEAL journals on ScienceDirect." Offered reduced subscriptions to online science, technology and medicine journals "to countries conforming to the World Bank definition of "low income countries," i.e. those with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US $760 or less. This group includes sub-Saharan African countries..."

Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique, IFRA - The French Institute for Research in Africa
In French and English. "IFRA-Ibadan is a non profit Institute set up to promote research in the social sciences and the humanities, as well as enhance collaborative work between scholars in France and West Africa." Has online issues of their newsletter, La lettre de l'Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique, research projects, and the full text of Guide to the Sources of Nigerian History compiled by the National Archives of Nigeria (1995). Based at the University of Ibadan. [KF]

International Association of Technological University Libraries, (IATUL) Conference, University of Pretoria, South Africa, June 1-5, 1998
Conference Information.

International Association of Technological University Libraries, (IATUL) Conference, University of Pretoria, South Africa, June 1-5, 1998, "The Challenge to be Relevant in the 21st Century"
Abstracts and full text of the papers. Topics include the Univ. of Science & Technology Library, Kumasi, Ghana; librarians in Africa; GAELIC, the Gauteng and Environs Library; Consortium; etc

International Conference on African Digital Libraries and Archives, ICADLA-1, First
Held 1-3 July 2009, United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Program with some abstracts and presentation on-line. Hosted by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

International Council on Archives
The ICA's membership includes national archives in Africa and elsewhere. Has a directory of the regional African archival organizations:

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (The Hague Netherlands)
Kay Raseroka, Director of Library Services, University of Botswana, was elected President of IFLA June 2001. Ms. Raseroka will serve as President-elect from August 2001 to August 2003 and as President from August 2003 to August 2005.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, IFLA - Africa Section
Has full text issues of their Newsletter.  Older site for Newsletter.   Old site:

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) - National Libraries of the World: an Address List
Directory with address, phone, fax, includes African national libraries.
IFLA 1997 Conference - Program and papers from the 1997 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) annual conference. Includes papers by African librarians.
IFLA 2008 Conference - 10-14 August 2008, Québec, Canada. Has some full text conference papers.
IFLA has a training program for African mid-career librarians.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Social Responsibilities Discussion Group
Site has full text discussion papers from 2000 on issues relating to African libraries.

International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (Oxford, U.K.)
Its Newsletter has many articles relating to African libraries, publishing, ILL, library co-operation, etc.

International Records Management Trust (London)
Its Rights and Records Institute seeks to "empower developing country governments to manage recorded information in support of citizens' rights and to make public service delivery more efficient, cost effective and transparent." Describes its African records management program. Its founder is Dr Anne Thurston. [KF]

Internet Bookmobile
The Bookmobile "is a mobile digital library capable of downloading public domain books from the Internet via satellite and printing them anytime, anywhere, for anyone." Read about their visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. They will be going to Uganda also. Has a discussion forum. A project of the Internet Archive to make public domain books available in print for developing countries and others. [KF]

Jagboro, K. O. - A study of Internet usage in Nigerian universities: A case study of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
In the e-journal, First Monday, Volume 8, Number 2 - February 3rd 2003.

JATLIM, Journal of Applied Technologies in Library and Information Management
Quarterly journal based in Nigeria. Some articles on free online. Topics include intellectual property rights, digital repositories, etc.

Joint IFLA / ICA Committee for Preservation in Africa
Launched in 1996 by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and ICA (International Council on Archives) to "help raise awareness among African professionals of the purpose and importance of preservation." Goals include to identify specific preservation needs, to encourage the setting up of national preservation commissions, etc. Includes a report, JICPA Survey of Conservation Facilities and Experts in Africa, by Peter Coates, Survey on the safeguard of periodicals and newspapers in Africa, a workshop, Safeguarding African Documentary Heritage. Based at the National Archives of Kenya, Nairobi.

JSTOR - Open Africa
JSTOR's digital library of full text academic journals is free for any academic or not-for-profit institution on the continent of Africa. "JSTOR was established as an independent not-for-profit organization in August 1995."

Keats, Derek - Collaborative Development of Open Content: A Process Model to Unlock the Potential for African Universities
In the e-journal, First Monday, Volume 8, Number 2 - February 3rd 2003. Uses lessons learned from open source software development to apply to collaborative content development. Examples used are Webpedia, Wikipedia, AVOIR. [KF]

Kenya National Archives (Nairobi)
Has many online guides to collections.

Kenya National Library Service
Has a directory of libraries, produces the Kenya National Bibliography which can be purchased. Is the distributor of ISBN numbers. Its camel mobile library service operates in North Eastern Province.

Kigali Public Library
"Rwanda's First Public Library" Initiated in 2000 by the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga, Rwanda. Support from American Friends of the Kigali Public Library (AFKPL), in Washington, DC, and Marshall Scholars for the Kigali Public Library (MSKPL). Based in Kigali.

See an article about the Kigali Public Library at - Kaufman, Zachary D., Social Entrepreneurship in a Post-Genocide Society: Building Rwanda’s First Public Library, the Kigali Public Library (2012). SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE AGE OF ATROCITIES: CHANGING OUR WORLD, pp. 58-82, Zachary D. Kaufman, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing., 2012. Available at SSRN:

Knutsen, Unni - Survey on the State of National Bibliographies in Africa
Published August 2007. 25 p. in PDF. Paper presented at the 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council Durban, South Africa, 19-23 August 2007. Knutsen is with the Oslo University College, Faculty of Journalism, Library and Inf. Science, Oslo, Norway.
Kwetu is an online library of documents and photographs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia. Access is by fee; a free demo is available. Topics include health, AIDS, religion, conservation, appropriate technology, economy, children, women, family planning, legal issues, population, conflict resolution, governance, etc. Founded in 2000 by Karani Nyamu and Sarge Odhiambo, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Liberia - Archives
Various reports, by Verlon Stone, on existing and potential projects to preserve Liberian archives. Topics include:Liberia Presidential Archives, Liberian Document Repositories: Assessment Trip (2004) [Powerpoint slides], and Assessment of Librarian Document Repositories (2004). Presented at the Title VI librarians meeting in New Orleans (Nov. 2004). On the Indiana University Libraries (Bloomington), African Studies Collection web site. [KF]

Library of Congress. Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu
"Dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the ancient manuscripts... are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages." "The manuscripts...are from the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library and the Library of Cheick Zayni Baye of Boujbeha,..." Has images of the documents which concern Islamic knowledge of astronomy, law, the Songhai Empire, slavery, Sufi religion, mathematics, political governance, medical knowledge, attitude towards non-Muslims, trade. [KF]

Library of Congress - Islamic Manuscripts from Mali
"...twenty-two Islamic manuscripts [in Arabic script] containing important insights into the life and culture of West Africans during the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era." Topics include astrology, commerce, Islamic law, health care, mysticism, slavery, and agriculture. A project of the Library of Congress and the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library of Timbuktu, Mali. Includes maps - Timbuktu in Space and Time, a history of Timbuktu as an Islamic cultural center, and Timbuktu architecture.

Licensing Digital Information. Developing Nations Initiatives
Information about programs designated to bring high quality, peer-reviewed sciences journals for free or very cheaply to developing nations. Examples: the Soros Initiative brings free or low-cost access to hundreds of electronic science and technology journals to readers in economically disadvantaged countries; Highwire Press offers free online access to all countries that appear in the World Bank's list of 'low income economies,' plus Djibouti; the World Health Organization and science publishers (Blackwell, Elsevier Science, Harcourt Worldwide STM Group, Springer Verlag, John Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer International) provide free or nearly free access to a number of the world's peer-reviewed, biomedical research journals. Part of the Licensing Digital Information site, hosted by Yale University Library.

Lor, Peter and Johannes Britz - Information Imperialism: Moral Problems in Information Flows from South to North
Paper presented at the EEI21 (Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century) symposium, in Memphis, Tennessee, October 2002. "The paper deals with three forms of South-North information flows: (1) contributions by African scientists and scholars to the international literature; (2) the purchase of books, journals etc. published in African countries by libraries in developed countries; and (3) the recording and subsequent exploitation in developed [countries] of indigenous knowledge obtained from traditional communities in Africa." "This paper will be published later this year [2003] in the symposium proceedings (publisher McFarland Press). In the mean time a pre-final draft of the paper can be found as an Adobe Acrobat document on the website of the National Library of South Africa." 8 p. in Adobe pdf.

Lubuto Library Project
Creates libraries to serve Africa's street kids and other vulnerable children. Gives "street children the opportunity for non-formal education, improving literacy, language skills, general knowledge and participation in society." Video (aimed at K-12 students) on street children and the impact of HIV/AIDS. Photographs. Based in Washington, D.C. Regional office in Lusaka, Zambia. [KF]

Lusotopie (Paris)
From the Association des chercheurs de la revue Lusotopie. Pub. by Editions Karthala, Paris. Abstracts in French, Portuguese, English. Full text articles on-line. Annual academic journal first published in 1994. Political analysis of Portuguese-speaking countries. Search by keyword across all issues in English, Portuguese, and French.
Some articles: Destruição da memória colectiva de um povo : a tragedia do Inep da Guiné-Bissau. (in PDF) Article in Portuguese concerning the destruction of the INEP (Instituto nacional de estudos e pesquisa) documentation center during the 1998 military actions.

Makerere University Library
Has an OPAC (online catalog), MakULA; search for dissertations done at Makerere for example. Makerere is a National Reference Library and a legal depository of all works published in Uganda, including government publications.

Management of State Security Archives of Former Repressive Regimes
Study published in 1994 by UNESCO and the International Council on Archives. Archives concerned included South Africa and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). The report of 16 pages contains little detail.

[Mauritius] National Library of Mauritius
"Initially, the core collection of the National Library will consist of the Mauritiana section of the Mauritius Institute public library and the Mauritiana section of the Archives Department."

Mendelssohn, Sidney, 31 Decembe 1860 - 26 September 1917 Collector and Bibliographer of Africana
Brief account (October 1998) by Dr. Donal Brody of Great Epics Books on the life of Mendelssohn, collector of fine books and manuscripts on Central and Southern Africa and author of "South African Bibliography" (1910).

Michigan State University, Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN). and the West African Research Center (WARC). African Digital Library
Project to develop a multi-media digital library of West African sources in multiple languages. To include "sound, text, and image content from multiple countries that will be freely accessible over the Internet in the U.S., West Africa, and throughout the world." The materials to be digitized will be selected by partners in Senegal and the U.S. "Documentalists at IFAN led by Gora Dia, head of the library, will take the lead in identifying groups of manuscripts, tapes, visual images, and texts from the Oral Data Collection, the Phototeque and the Department of Islam. In the U.S., PI David Robinson will identify collections of oral data and images compiled by American Africanists who have worked in francophone West Africa during the past 40 years."

Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya)
Includes information on the library, the Faculty of Information Sciences, and the Information Resource Management Centre and its Internet Cafe.

[Namibia] National Archives of Namibia
The site had databases for:

  • ARCAT - holdings in the Library of the National Archives.
  • FILES - records of the Government Archives
  • NAMCAT - holdings of over 20 libraries in Namibia
  • NATHES - theses on Namibia
  • PHOTO - citations only to the photograph collection

[Namibia] National Library of Namibia (Windhoek) Facebook Page
The library acquires everything published from and about Namibia. It holds the Randolph Vigne and Namibia Support Committee Collection. Has the 1997 Library Annual Report. Databases include 
NAMLIT - for bibliographic records of publications about Namibia published anywhere. Covers 1778 to date. Library location is given. Namibia National Bibliography, NNB - bibliographic records of publications received on legal deposit by the National Library of Namibia. Covers 1990 to 1992.

Namibia Information Workers Mailing List
List for sharing professional info with relevance to the Namibian community.!forum/naminfo-list

Namibian Information Workers Association (NIWA)
National association of Namibian librarians and information professionals formed in 1990. Publishes NIWA-INFO Newsletter. Has a directory of internet sites in Namibia.

National Archives of Nigeria
History, Rules of Access, Guide to the Sources of Nigerian History for Archives in Ibadan, Kaduna, Nsukka. For ex. (1) Guide to the Sources of Nigerian History at the National Archives of Nigeria, Enugu (1991) (2) A General Reference Index to the Records at the National Archives, Enugu (1991) (3) Special List of General Reports (Administrative and Departmental) in the National Archives, Enugu, 1900-1956 (1988) (4) An Index to Intelligence Reports, Anthropological Reports, Assessment Reports and Re-organisation Reports in the National Archives, Enugu (1992) (5) Descriptive Index to Records Relating to the Economic History of Nigeria 1900-1965 (1993) (6) Descriptive Index to Records Relating to the Military History of Nigeria (1993).

National  Archives of Nigeria. Enugu and Calabar - Rescuing Eastern Nigerian history: preserving the holdings of Enugu and Calabar regional archives (EAP052)
In Engish. Project background: or

  • The Catalogue:
  • EAP052/1 Selection of Records from the Office of the Secretary, Southern Provinces, Nigeria [1930s-1940s]
  • EAP052/2 Selection of Records from the Calabar Division Office, Calabar Province, Nigeria [1949-1955]
  • Contents as of 2019 were 7 records from the Enugu and Calabar Archives from the late 1800s to 1960. Southern Province Records, Intelligence Reports on Clans, Calabar Division Office Records, Petition from woman regarding her estate, Petitons / appeals against tax assessments in Calabar. [KF]
  • The Archives

National Archives of Nigeria, Kaduna - Northern Nigeria: Precolonial documents preservation scheme - major project (EAP535)
In English, Arabic, Hausa, Ajami. British colonial documents and Arabic and Hausa manuscripts. [KF]

  • Northern Province Secretariat, provincial files, Divisional & District Office records, court records, maps, photographs 1897-1920. Topics include slavery, Islam, labor, agriculture, culture, reform of Caliphate institutions.
  • Arabic & Hausa Manuscripts. Covers "the social, economic and political history of the Sokoto Caliphate (the largest 19th century Islamic empire in West Africa)" - local chronicles,  correspondence, legal documents, religious literature late 18th century to 1903.
  • The Archives.
  • Background on the British Library Endangered Archives project: or DOI:
  • Collection EAP087/2:"Selection of Records from the Office of the Secretary of the Northern Provinces, Nigeria"
  • Background on the National Archives, Kaduna.
  • A study based on the documents: "Convict labour in early colonial Northern Nigeria: a preliminary study," by Mohammed Bashir Salau. Chapter in "From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme"  Maja Kominko (ed.) Cambridge : Open Book Publishers, 2016.    1 online resource. or

National Library of Nigeria
Nigeria's national library, based in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

National Museum of Namibia Library

National Symposium on Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Information Gateways, April 24-26, 2001 Kitwe, Zambia

National University of Lesotho Library

Nigerian International Book Fair, NIBF
Conferences, literary awards, workshops. Based in Ikeja, Lagos State.

Nigerian Library Association
Publishes a journal, Nigerian Libraries. Has on-line reports such as the national conference papers, a discussion group for members of NLA, nla-online-forum, and a news blog (and old blog). NLA origins go back to the 1950s.

NLA New Librarian
Discussion group for young librarians affiliated with the Nigerian Library Association (NLA).

Northwestern University. Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, ISITA
"The principle objectives of ISITA are: 1. Preserving, and disseminating information on, African Arabic manuscript libraries......." Has photographs from Timbuktu, the Mamma Haidara Library, and the Kati Family Library. "Africa is the home of roughly one quarter of the world's one 1.2 billion Muslim population. Approximately half of the population of Africa is Muslim, some countries being 90-100% Muslim, and every country having at least a significant Muslim minority of 5-10%."

OCLC - World Catalog - Map of National Libraries
Click on a country and find the national library participating in World Catalog and the number of its volumes in World Catalog. Timeline of national library participation in OCLC.

Opportunities for Newspaper Preservation and Access in South Africa, Conference, Cape Town, 2003
Webpage closed down. Conference, March 17-19, 2003, sponsored by the National Library of South Africa. Full text of the proceedings, in a large 286 kb pdf is available. Use your computers Right and Left Arrow keys to navigate in the pdf file.

Oxford University Press - Electronic Journals Free Access to Developing Countries
Developing countries can apply for free access to OUP e-journals. The offer is for institutions.

Polytechnic of Namibia - Library
Has an online catalog and a newsletter, Bibliomane. Based in Windhoek.

PRAIS: Programme for Agricultural Information Services
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA), based in Wageningen, with the libraries of the University of the Orange Free State and the Agricultural Research Council (South Africa) sponsor a regionalised agricultural information service for Southern Africa countries (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe). Requests for information can be sent by mail, phone, e-mail or fax.  PRAIS will search relevant electronic and computerised databases on CD-ROM and on the Internet. "Information will be sent in the form of full text articles and lists of further references." Anyone can search their SADC Agribase database for citations to publications. Their newsletter, Agri-Outreach is online. E-mail:

Progressive Librarians Around the World
Has contact addresses for African members (Cameroon, South Africa).

Remote Access: Distant Libraries of the World
Site about a DVD on rural mobile libraries in Kenya (from the Kenya National Library Service) and elsewhere. See video clips. "In Kenya animals are used to bring literature and education to the hinterlands. Camels are used in the eastern provinces while donkeys are the preferred animal in the western part of the country." Produced by Paul Francescutti.

Rhodes University. Directory of University Libraries in Africa
Provides address, phone, fax, the University Librarian, e-mail address for libraries throughout Africa.

[Senegal] Archives du Sénégal
In French. The Senegal National Archives holds le fonds du Sénégal colonial (1816-1958), le fonds de l'A.O.F (1895-1959), le fonds de la Fédération du Mali (1959-1960), and le fonds du Sénégal indépendant depuis 1958. The Director is Saliou MBAYE. History of the Archives, information on the Association des Amis des Archives du Senegal, etc. Based in Dakar.
Has online guides to:

Senegal Archives Microfilm Project
The Cooperative Africana Microfilm Project, CAMP, based at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago, is involved in a cooperative project to film records from the Senegal National Archives. See
See also a 2003 report by Joseph Caruso "Report on the CAMP-Title VI Joint Acquisitions Project in Senegal, West Africa"

Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations, SCECSAL
"...regional grouping of library and information associations in Africa." Includes Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swazliand, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Has country reports, news, publications list, etc. The Secretariat rotates between national associations.

Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Professionals - SCECSAL XVII - 2006, July 10-14, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Site has Closed. "the biggest African event for professionals within the library and information sector in East, Central and Southern Africa region." "it is anticipated that there will be approximately 500 participants. The theme of the conference is Librarianship as a bridge to an information and knowledge society in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa."

Thapisa, Amos - Impact of Global Information on Africa
A virtual conference convened in 1996 by Dr. Amos Thapisa, Dept. of Library and Information Studies, University of Botswana.

Ubogu, Felix N. "African Libraries in the Digital Age"
Full-text (23 pages) of a paper by Rhodes University (South Africa), University Librarian Felix Ubogu. Presented at the 13th Standing Conference for Eastern, Central and Southern African Librarians (SCECSAL), Nairobi, Kenya, 27th - 31st July, 1998.

Uganda Christian University
University Library The UCU Archives "focuses its collection on archival and manuscript resources on the following areas: Uganda Christian University, Bishop Tucker Theological College (predecessor of UCU) and The Church of the Province of Uganda. A project is underway to microfilm these materials."

Uganda Library Association
Has issues of the Newsletter, photographs from the First Annual Library & Information Science Conference for Uganda, November 2000. Site hosted by the University of Oklahoma, School of Library and Information Studies.

[Uganda] National Library of Uganda
The Library is the legal depository library for Ugandan publications. It publishes the National Bibliography of Uganda. The Library issues / allocates International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) to Uganda's publishers. The Library maintains the Uganda national collection.

Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, University Library (Dakar)
Brief information on the library. Has some holdings of the mémoires in the Bibliotheque Universitaire Cetnrale in an experimental online catalog.

Université de Djibouti
In French. Background, news, university facts, Centre de Documentation Universitaire, etc.

Université de Nouakchott. Bibliothèque Universitaire
In French. Includes information on other campus libraries and a list of outside Mauritanian libraries. Hosts the site for Reseau RIBAT, Réseau National d'information & de Documentation.

Universite Nationale du Benin. Bibliotheque universitaire
In French. "Le site Bénin Contact est hébergé sur l'infoport du Centre SYFED-REFER de Cotonou."

Universite Nationale du Rwanda, Bibliotheque Centrale (Butare, Rwanda)
Has an online catalog.

University of Dar es Salaam Library
Search their Online Catalog.

University of Ghana
History, faculty, courses, research institutes, the Balme Library, alumni news and more. Some overseas institutions have academic links with the University.

University of Ibadan. African Regional Centre for Information Science, ARCIS
Regional centre for information technology training, research and advisory services.  Publishes the free online Journal of Information Science, Systems and Technology. Offers M.Sci., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees, workshops, seminars.  Courses in record management, internet publishing, software and information systems project management, business information systems design and applications, CDS/ISIS, etc. Based in Ibadan, Nigeria. [KF]

University of Ibadan. Library

University of Illinois. Wedgeworth International Fellowship in Library Leadership
The fellowship is open to citizens or permanent residents of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, or Zimbabwe. "The Fellowship consists of a six-week stay at the Mortenson Center and modest support to initiate a project at home that will make a significant difference in the Fellow’s own library community."

University of Jos Libraries
One can download two papers by Stephen Akintunde, Head, Systems Unit in the Unijos Libraries:- The Migration ; Digitizing the University of Jos Library & The Human Side of Digitization.

University of Malawi. Chancellor College
"Chancellor College, located in Zomba in the south eastern part of Malawi, is the largest of the constituent colleges of the University of Malawi. The college offers degrees in sciences, arts, social sciences, law and education." Includes Library Services.

University of Nairobi Libraries
Has the staff directory, an online catalog, information on other campus libraries. It is a legal deposit library. "The East African Collection contains materials on Kenya in particular and East African in general...As well as books, the collection contains periodicals on East African Studies, government publications, manuscripts, all thesis from the University of East Africa and the University of Nairobi." .html

University of Namibia. Dept. of Information and Communication Studies
Includes Library Science and Media Studies programs.

University of Namibia Library (Windhoek)
Information on staff, the Special Collections which include Namibiana, pages of the Subject Librarians. The University Archives has many databases with Namibiana such as Namibian Theses, the HIV/AIDS database, holdings of the United Nations Institute for Namibia Collection and the Tjitendero Collection. The Library hosts the NAMLIT database of publications on Namibia published anywhere from 1778 to date. Has the library's online catalog.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka Library - Virtual Library - with Library and Information Science Reports
Full text Theses, Dissertations, Journal Articles, and research reports by Nigerian scholars for other organizations are on-line. Listing by Subjects/Categories. Includes Library and Information Science research.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka - Helen Nneka Eke Blog
Blog by Helen Nneka Eke, Assistant Librarian, Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

University of Zambia Library

University of Zambia Medical Library
Large site with issues of the Zambia Health Information Digest, a medical phrases (in ChiBemba, ChiNyanja, Ci Tonga, Si Lozi and English), a section on HIV/AIDS in Zambia, a link to African Index Medicus, and many health-related resources. The HIV/AIDS in Zambia section includes a 200 item annotated bibliography to 1995, and extensive internet resources.

University of Zimbabwe Library
Information on the staff directory, special collections (includes university theses), the government publications collection, Institute of Development Studies Library, etc. The University Librarian is Mr. S. M. Made:

Walker, Robin - Manuscripts and Intellectual Legacy of Timbuktu
Audio file, slides and transcript. Lecture October 2021, hosted by Gresham College, London, U.K.

West African Arabic Manuscript Database
A bi-lingual union catalog of records for over 20,000 Arabic manuscripts from West Africa. Find citations by authors, nicknames, titles, subjects. Includes manuscripts from Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Northern Nigeria and from collections in Paris and Northwestern Univ. The documents represent "the literary activity of Muslim literati in the Sahel region during the approximately 150 years prior to colonial conquest." Charles C. Stewart, Professor, Department of History, University of Illinois, Champaign is General Editor. [KF]

World Digital Library
Partners include the U.S. Library of Congress and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The two wil have mirror sites. "The project will digitize unique and rare material, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, sound recordings, films, prints, photographs and architectural drawings from libraries and other cultural institutions around the world and make these materials freely available on the Internet." Background on the Library.

World Information Report. UNESCO, 1997
A selection of articles from the Report is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Among these is the Africa chapter of the Archives section, by Peter Mazikana.
Table of Contents including African Archives:
Main Page:

Zimbabwe Library Association