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*African Studies Research Guide: Web Sites/Electronic Resources

Covers major background sources, databases and web sites related to African Studies

Africa Past & Present Podcasts

Africa Past and Present is a podcast about history, culture, and politics in Africa and the diaspora. The show highlights interesting and significant people, ideas, and discussions in African Studies from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. It is part of the African Online Digital Library hosted by Michigan State University.


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Google Africa Blog

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Web Sites





There are a number of excellent meta-sites for African Studies. Some of the most important are:

 ***Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources (Stanford, Karen Fung)
A huge, well-organized site covering Sub-Saharan Africa. You can search by country or topic.

***African Studies: Columbia University (Joseph Caruso)
Includes Union List of African Newspapers Project: Electronic Newspapers of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Directory of Africana Scholars.

African Studies Online Resources (Penn. Ali Dinar) Penn produces an important website on Resources on Health and Disease in Africa. Also available from the university of Pennsylvania are resource guides on African Muslims, topical guides focused on local Philadelphia, national, and French language resources; and Direct Feeds, a topical resource guide devoted to humanitarian famine relief and other development projects in Africa with a strong concentration on Ethiopia, and  

A-Z African Studies on the Internet (Michigan State) (Peter Limb Updated June 16, 2015)

Afican Studies Library, University of Leiden has a growing collection of important links as well as its own specialized collection. Check out its growing list of web dossiers, which are topical guides related to Africa concerning pressing issues within Africa broadly or commemorative retrospectives on historic anniversaries.

Africa Subject Guide: SOAS

Africa Files Links: General and humanitarian links

Help for Researchers: African Studies (British Library)

ilissAfrica (Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa) combines a number of European library catalogs specializing in Africa as well as Colonial Picture Archives.

Important Organizations:

African Studies Association (Rutgers) Professional association of U.S. African scholars.

Africa South of the Sahara has an excellent list of African organizations and programs throughout the world.

Association of Concerned African Scholars was founded in 1977 by scholars who sought to organize scholarly analysis and action toward "moving U.S. policy toward Africa in directions more sympathetic to African interests." (From first ACAS newsletter.)

Forced Migration Online of Refugee Study Center of Oxford University pulls together a wide variety of information on displaced people thoughout the world including Africa.

Human Rights Watch

World Bank's website is important for statistical information on the developing world and links to many or the organization's reports. A more complete complete full text collection of publications and reports is found at the World Bank eLibrary which is extremely important for materials in the area of social and economic development throughout Africa and other areas of the world. The collection is searchable by topic, region and country.



Emory sites:

Institute of African Studies
Provides a detailed overview of African Studies at Emory including faculty, courses and special programs.

African Origins  African Origins contains information about the migration histories of Africans forcibly carried on slave ships into the Atlantic. Using the personal details of 91,491 Africans liberated by International Courts of Mixed Commission and British Vice Admiralty Courts, this resource makes possible new geographic, ethnic, and linguistic data on peoples captured in Africa and pulled into the slave trade. Through contributions to this website by Africans, members of the African Diaspora, and others, we hope to set in motion the rediscovery of the backgrounds of the millions of Africans captured and sold into slavery during suppression of transatlantic slave trading in the 19th century.

Bemba Online Project
A guide to information on Bemba, a language spoken by 5 to 6 million people in Zambia and neighboring countries, is maintained by Debra (Spitulnik) Vidali in the Anthropology Department. There is a also a Facebook page associated with the project. 

Ivan Karp Online Archive Ivan Karp was National Endowment for the Humanities Professor in the Emory Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts whose work influenced anthropology, African studies, museum studies, African philosophy, public scholarship and many other fields. He was the  co-editor for the Indiana University Press series African Systems of Thought and the Smithsonian Institution Press series Studies in Ethnographic Inquiry. His early scholarship focused on the Iteso People of Kenya.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, also know as "Voyages"
Containing records of almost 35,000 trans-Atlantic slave ship voyages made between 1514 and 1866, this is the most extenisive database documenting the Atlantic slave trade. Format allows users to track information by time period and geographic region, and includes interactive maps that allow viewers to chart the trans-Atlantic connections. The accompanying data contains materials about people on board, owners and captains, ships' characteristics, and the geographic trajectory of each voyage. Accompanied by extensive maps and other supplementary data. Now includes the African Origins Project, an effort to locate information (including original location) about individual slaves transported out of Africa. Over 90,000 names are now included.

Selected Other Digital Resources: (Emory only)

Aluka  is an international collaborative initiative to build an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa.  Aluka is a work in progress that consists of two sections: World Heritage Sites - Africa and Struggles for Freedom - Southern Africa. In Fall 2015, it was in the process of being integrated into JSTOR. World Heritage Sites - Africa contains photographs, images reports, manuscripts, books etc. related to sites such as Elmina, the slave fort on the Gold Coast (Ghana). This collection focuses on early Africa. It also contains a selection of books from the Smithsonian Institution. The special collection on Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa includes extensive materials (Books, periodicals, reports, transcribed interviews, etc.) digitized from the Melville J. Herskovits Library at Northwestern University.

Center for Research Libraries (CRL) has extensive collections of African materials many of which are being digitized. Access them here.   A very helpful video on locating and using CRL's digital resources (emphasizing CAMP materials) is available.

Empire Online features a wide variety of material including:  exploration journals and logs; letter books and correspondence; periodicals; diaries; official governmentpPapers; missionary papers; travel writing; slave papers; memoirs; folk tales; exhibition catalogues and guides; Maps; Photographs; and Illustrations for the British Empire.  Not limited to Africa.

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007 is an important portal for slavery and abolition studies, bringing together original manuscripts and rare printed material from libraries and archives across the Atlantic world for the period 1490-2007. Close attention is being given to the varieties of slavery, the legacy of slavery, the social justice perspective and the continued existence of slavery today.

The Making of the Modern World: The Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic LIterature  presents more than 61,000 books from the period 1460-1850, and 466 pre-1906 serials. In almost 12 million pages, it focuses on economics interpreted in the widest sense, including political science, history, sociology, and special collections on banking, finance, transportation and manufacturing. Has collection of over 1100 titles dealing with slavery and large holding related to British colonies.

World Bank eLibrary

The World Bank is an important player in development studies, with numerous reports about individual African countries as well as the region as a whole. While much information is available for free on its website many important resources are not included but can be found in the subscription service, World Bank eLibrary, a collection of the World Bank’s numerous publications, reports, working papers and other related documents. All texts are searchable by both topic and region, and available in full-text. Currently, over 4,500 documents are indexed in the database. The World Bank’s areas of focus include economic and social development, education, environmental issues, health, and finance.


Of Interest

Africa focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent. University of Wisconsin. Digital pictures, photos and sounds.

The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).  A key feature to the Africa Portal is the online library collection holding over 5,000 books, journals, and digital documents related to African policy issues. Includes research from Africa.CIGI also has a webpage devoted to its Africa Initiative, which will direct you to materials based on development themes.

African Voices. Smithsonian Institution. Permanent digital version of exhibit featuring sound and interactive features.

Digital Somali Library  (DSL) provides full-text, online access to 137 books from Indiana University Bloomington's Somali collection. IU's Somali collection ranks among the top-tier of such collections in the world and, in many cases, it includes unique items.

DISA (Digital Information South Africa) is a freely accessible online scholarly resource focusing on the socio-political history of South Africa, particularly the struggle for freedom during the period  from 1950 to the first democratic elections in 1994. Includes the backfiles of 54 anti-apartheid journals, including African Communist and Black Sash.

Francophone Africa, a general list of links to websites prepared by NYU's  Lehman Library.

Global Health Chronicles covers the public health fight against diseases such as smallpox, guinea worm and malaria.

Anti-Apartheid in Exile is an example of a digital project taking information from memoir of anti-apartheid activist and writer, Alfred Hutchinson who fled South Africa in 1956 after being charged with treason and combining it with a map of his journey to Ghana as well as audio interviews with his companion Hazel Slade. This is a collaborative project developed by Dr. Nicholas Grant (University of East Anglia) and Dr. Vincent Hiribarren (King’s College London).


Google has a wide variety of African initiatives. Follow the Google Africa blog.




HINT: Check for other web sites in growing list of other research guides under African American Studies. and Development Studies

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