Architectural history

African Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Dr. Gloria Emeagwali, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University, provides citations to books and links to web sites relating to the, "Background History of Africa, African Food Processing Techniques, African Textile Techniques, African Metallurgy, Colonialism and Africa's Technology, and Mathematics in pre-colonial Hausaland, West Africa.

African Timelines
Chronology with descriptions for Ancient Africa, African Empires, African Slave Trade & European Imperialism, Anti-Colonialism, Post-Independence Africa, plus Sources for Further Study. Site by Cora Agatucci, Associate Professor of English, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, Oregon.

ArchNet: Islamic Architecture Community
" community for architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects,...". Find full text books and many photographs, by country. Course syllabi, such as Seminar in African Art and Culture Art, Architecture and Tradition; Building Identity in West Africa (Dr. Peter Mark). From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning.
Books include:

  • Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town. By Bianca, Stefano & Francesco Siravo. 1996.
  • Mosque Architecture in Buganda, Uganda. By Timothy Insoll. 1997. Chapter in Muqarnas XIV: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World. Gülru Necipoglu (ed). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 177-189. In PDF.

ArtsEdNet - The Great Mosque Djenn?, Mali
History of the mosque, its current significance. Lesson plans, curriculum ideas for beginner, intermediate and advanced students, a timeline, an image gallery and diagrams. For K-12 and university teachers. From the J. Paul Getty Trust. [KF]

Cape Town Underground
The Univ. of Cape Town's Research Unit for Archaeology, RESUNACT, focuses on 19th century Cape Town. The work incorporates literature, architecture, graphic art. A GIS database will be created, an occasional series is planned.

Cities/Buildings Archive
A online digital image archive of cities and buildings around the world. Includes Kenya. All files on this site are copyright controlled. Maintained by Meredith Clausen, Professor of Architectual History, Univ. of Washington, Seattle. Prof.  Simon Ottenberg is Africa section consultant and his collection of images will be added.

Internet African History Sourcebook - Paul Halsall
Has full-text sources for African history arranged by topics. Includes the Black Athena Debate, human origins, Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, Islam in Africa, West African kingdoms, Great Zimbabwe, etc.. Maintained by Paul Halsall, Fordham University.

Kingdoms of the Medieval Sudan
An introduction to the history of Sudanic Africa (the states of Songhay, Kanem-Bornu, and Hausaland.) Discusses trade and Islam. Photographs by Lucy Johnson illustrate - Images of Islam (Grand Mosque at Jenne), River Scenes, Daily Life, The Dogon, Traditions and Beliefs, The Desert. Has multiple-choice tests. Project arises from a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to Xavier University's Center for the Advancement of Teaching (New Orleans, LA). Site by J. Rotondo-McCord. [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." 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.

Mali Interactive
Accounts of archaeological excavations and information on the people and culture of Jenn? will be posted to this site from Jenn?, Mali January 18-30, 1997. The project leaders include Rod and Susan McIntosh from Rice University's Anthropology Dept. U.S. 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from a Texas school district will email messages to Mali and receive replies from the project participants. A goal is to save archaeological information from destruction by erosion. Jenn? is the earliest known urban settlement south of the Sahara and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Has photos, news, teaching resources, information on Mali and archaeology.

Marguerat, Yves - Lom?, un siecle d'images, 1884-1990
In French. The site Togo Contact from the Centre SYFED-REFER de Lom? (a research network) has photographs and some text from Marguerat's book, Lome un siecle d'images, 1884-1990 (Lom? : Presses de l'Universite du Benin, [1993-1996,  v. 1-2) which is an economic history of Lom?. Shows hotels, business leaders, factories, rail/air transport, markets, craftsmen, etc.

MIT Libraries - Islamic Architecture, Art, and Urbanism
Guide to text resources (bibliographies, journals, databases) and visual resources (includes the Aga Khan Visual Archive. Some of its images are in Archnet. See Archnet's Digital Library for photographs of mosques and other buildings). From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries.

The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Nubia Salvage Project. The Institute participated in the 1960s UNESCO effort to rescue archaeological sites from the rising waters of the Aswan High Dam. Artifacts recovered from that effort were presented in two exhibitions:

Nubia Slavage Project:
Photographic Archives. Seven historical photographs from the Sudan (Nubia). A sample of photographs taken by Institute expeditions in the early 20th century.
Sudan page:
Photographic Archives main page:

Planum: European Journal of Planning
Information on German architecht, Ernst May (1886-1970), who was Town Planner in Kampala, Uganda, during the 1940s. Maps of Kampala, architectural drawings of housing schemes. Planum is the e-journal of the Planum Association which concerns urban development and environment preservation.

South African Heritage Resource Agency
"To provide for the identification, conservation, protection and promotion of our heritage for the present and future generations." Sets national policy for heritage resources management. Database of Early Architects in South Africa. Find for ex. Cape Town architect Franklin Kaye Kendall. Full text of the National Heritage Resources Act. South African history facts. Has a page on historical shipwrecks and lists of library holdings. Based in Cape Town. [KF]

Sungbo's Eredo, Africa's Largest Single Monument
Photographs. On the site "Recording West Africa's Visible Archaeology African Legacy" of Dr. Patrick Darling, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK.
New York Times article - "A Wall, a Moat, Behold! A Lost Yoruba Kingdom: Eredo Journal" by Norimitsu Onishi. Subscription only access through the New York Times or Academic Universe. About a 10th century 100 mile long wall and moat, Sungbo's Eredo, one of the largest monuments in sub-Saharan Africa. It was erected around a Yoruba kingdom. Article in the New York Times, September 20, 1999, page A4.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
"The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage... agreement, signed to date by more than 150 States Parties, was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. Its primary mission is to define and conserve the world's heritage, by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through a closer co-operation among nations."
Examples are in Benin (Royal Palaces of Abomey), Ethiopia (Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela), Ghana (forts and castles), Mali (Djenne, Timbuktu, Dogon cliffs), Mauritania (11th-12th century towns), Senegal (Goree), Tanzania (Kilwa):
World Heritage page:

Visual Arts of Zimbabwe
Features the architecture of Great Zimbabwe and the colonial period .
Part of the Literature and Culture of Zimbabwe site, which is part of the Contemporary Postcolonial & Postimperial Literature in English site maintained by George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University.