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Home > Collections > African Studies Book Collection

African Studies Book Collection

Special Collections includes the significant African Studies collections of published monographs and pamphlets, as well as a rare book collection and several specialist collections. Previously housed in the African Studies Library, founded in 1953, the African Studies collections consist of approximately 65 000 volumes, including up-to-date materials as well as works on Africa and South Africa printed before 1925, and many hard-to-find volumes in a wide range of European and African languages. The pamphlet collection consists of just under 26 000 titles, with a further 800 rare or old titles, published before 1925, in the BAAP collection.

The collections cover the whole of sub-Saharan Africa and include national imprints from all over Africa as well as works published in Europe and North America. The collections are especially strong in gender studies, media studies, HIV/AIDS issues, and debates around the character of African studies as a discipline. There is an important collection on Southern African languages, donated to the university in the 1950s, which includes religious texts and school textbooks as well as dictionaries and grammars. Some of the titles in these collections, published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are extremely rare. The specialist book collections include a Kipling and Antarctic collection.

African studies books can be identified by the prefix BA in front of the shelf number, and the pamphlets BAP; books published before 1925 carry the prefix BAA and can be found in the online catalogue. Each of the specialist book collections has its own prefix, and you will find this information in the descriptions of the collections on the right. To consult the collection of 160 bound pamphlet volumes, totally close to 2,000 individual titles, please contact the department. There are also pamphlets in many of the manuscript collections.