Category Archives: repositories

Constitutional Court Trust Oral History Project

Following up on Renfrew Christie’s comment that his signature is on the draft of democratic South Africa’s Constitution, I’d like to call attention to the Constitutional Court Trust Oral History Project.

This important project was carried out by the Historical Papers Research Archive, The Library, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

It aimed to capture the memories and experiences of the people involved in the formative stages of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, to record in comprehensive, reliable and accessible form their memories of how an abstract constitutional ideal was converted into a functioning constitutional organism.

The 86 interviews were conducted between 2011-2012 and submitted by the Constitutional Court Trust in digital format. The transcripts can be accessed through this inventory from where they can be downloaded in PDF format. The audio recordings of the interviews are accessible at the Historical Papers Research Archive in Mp3 format.

For full inventory and links to PDF transcripts click here.

The Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa Project

Editor’s Note: This site provides access to a number of archives in Finland, Norway, Sweden, as well as some Danish and Icelandic sources. Most of them are only finding aids, but there was some digitization work done on the Finnish sources. This was an effort led by the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala.

 

The Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa Project

This historical site is a reference source for everyone interested in the late 20th century history of national liberation in Southern Africa and the role of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

The site provides finding aids of primary source materials that can be found at the different Nordic archival institutions, NGOs and archives of individuals who have been involved in the liberation struggles in Southern Africa. (See map of countries covered.) The available materials are mainly in the Nordic languages, but where possible, English is indicated. The website holdings include interviews with important actors, photographs, publications and posters and pins from 1960-1996. The finding aids are meant to facilitate information search on the Nordic countries’ involvement in the liberation struggles and directs the information seekers to where the information can be found. It also makes available some archival materials in a pdf-format for downloading.

 

About the Nordic documentation on the liberation struggle in Southern Africa.

The project started in 2003 and was completed in 2009.

The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, has for a number of years played an important role in documenting the Nordic involvement in the National Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa. In the present process of state building in Southern Africa, there is a search for history and its role in forming and reforming national consciousness. In this respect, it has become evident that the background materials that have been collected in the Nordic countries have an important role to play in filling the gaps that might exist in the search for a new “liberation history”.

In 2003 the Nordic Africa Institute initiated a project to identify archives in the Nordic countries, that cover documentation on anti-apartheid resistance and the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, mainly South Africa and Namibia, during 1960-1990. (Other countries are covered, see the information box in the right hand column.) Around this time, a large number of organisations in the Nordic countries e.g. government bodies, youth and church organisations, political parties and solidarity groups participated in the struggle. As a result, vast bilateral cooperation emerged and many well documented conferences and meetings were held in the Nordic countries and in Africa. Several visits to refugee camps in Africa and encounters with different leaders were also documented on videos, tapes and in pictures. Another result was this website that works as an reference source. It was launched on 24 April 2007. (More about the website.)

Organisations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have localized, catalogued and organized archives on the liberation struggle. The archival lists are available in a database, found on this website, that has been created to make the materials known and easily accessible for researchers, students and others who are interested in this part of the world history.

The project was concluded in November 2009 with a workshop held in Pretoria, South Africa.

 

http://www.liberationafrica.se/

Archives de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française Brazzaville

Editor’s Note: Although this page doesn’t explicitly deal with South or Southern African history, It’s still useful to look at this digitization initiative. Archivists Jean-Pierre Bat and Vincent Hiribarren have built a small website to show some of the holdings of the French Equatorial Africa Colonial Archives in Brazzaville. They chose not to digitize all of the materials for obvious reasons, but they did provide us with some scans. And most importantly, they uploaded summaries of the inventories and some of the finding aids. Perhaps this is a good compromise to the dilemmas of “digital imperialism.” 
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Ce site est dédié aux archives coloniales de l’Afrique équatoriale française (AEF) conservées à Brazzaville aux Archives nationales du Congo.

Ces archives de l’AEF (fonds dit de gestion) constituent un patrimoine partagé entre la France et les Républiques issues de l’ancienne AEF : Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Centrafrique, Tchad.
Elles constituent la partie complémentaire du fonds AEF conservé aux Archives nationales d’outre-mer à Aix-en-Provence (fonds dit de souveraineté).

Ce site a été créé par deux historiens spécialistes de l’Afrique, Jean-Pierre Bat (CNRS-Institut des mondes africains) et Vincent Hiribarren (King’s College London), en accord et avec le concours des Archives nationales du Congo en la personne de Raoul Ngokaba (directeur des Affaires administratives et financières à la direction générale du patrimoine et des archives) et en la personne de Brice Owabira (directeur des Archives nationales du Congo), et de l’Institut français de Brazzaville en la personne de Richard Mouthuy (conseiller de coopération à l’action culturelle et directeur de l’Institut français).

Archives de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française Brazzaville | Ce site présente les archives du gouvernement général de l’AEF conservées à Brazzaville. Ces archives constituent un patrimoine partagé entre le Congo-Brazzaville, le Gabon, la Centrafrique, le Tchad et la France..

ilissAfrica – Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa

Editor’s Note: Reproduced below is part of the search engine “Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa” (ilissAfrica). The project links a number of online catalogs. Some of the catalogs link to full-text, or else WorldCat. Of particular significance is the Frankfurt Colonial Archive which has photo-scans. Follow to ilissAfrica from this link.

About the project

The internet library sub-Saharan Africa (ilissAfrica) is a portal that offers an integrated access to relevant scientific conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region. Information scattered on private or institutional websites, databases or library catalogues is brought together in order to facilitate research. Without ilissAfrica this information has to be collected in a laborious and time-consuming process.

ilissAfrica allows simultaneous searching (“General search”) in the following electronic resources:

  • Library Catalogue UB Frankfurt (mainly books)
  • Africa Section of the database World Affairs Online incl. the Africa library catalogue of GIGA Hamburg (books and journal articles) as from 1985
  • Library Catalogue of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (books and journal articles)
  • Library Catalogue of the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala/Sweden
  • Library Catalogue of the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Mainz University with Jahn Library and AMA
  • SSG-Section of the Swets database “Online Contents” (titles of journal articles)
  • Database on internet resources with more than 5.000 websites on sub-Saharan Africa
  • Africa section of Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)
  • Colonial Picture Archive with 50.000 digitized historical pictures of Frankfurt University Library, Germany, and the Sam Cohen Library, Swakopmund, Namibia.

Furthermore an Africa Section of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) to search E-Journals is provided.

ilissAfrica is a project of the Africa Department of the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg in Frankfurt on the Main in cooperation with the GIGA Information Centre: Africa Library in Hamburg. Together they are in charge of the DFG Special Collections on sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is financed by the DFG.

ilissAfrica supports the association “European Librarians in African Studies” (ELIAS) as a european network aiming to promote professional exchange and cooperation among its members. The “Africa Section” of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) was one source for the Wikipedia-article “African Studies Journals“.

Partners:

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schliessen des div-Bereichs content und der Content-Zelle

 

ilissAfrica – About the project.

Connecting-Africa: Digitization and Repositories

Researchers at the African Studies Centre (Leiden, NL) have been developing since 2006 a project titled “Connecting-Africa,” which is meant to provide information about Africanists, organizations, and published (scholarly and non-scholarly) materials. In addition, the researchers have organized nearly 100 digitized repositories, hosted mostly at universities around the globe. They primarily provide links to dissertation and theses, although there are some other sources of research as well. For sheer size, I have chosen not to reprint the page verbatim here. For those interested in the repositories, follow this link to the website.

Treasures from the German Colonial Library | African Studies Centre

Editor’s Note: This article is copied verbatim from the African Studies Centre (Leiden, NL) website. Some of the researchers at the ASC are involved in organizing digitized materials on African History and African Studies. This article gives hyperlinks to some of their efforts in organizing repositories

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Map of Africa (Die Erschliessung Afrikas durch Eisenbahnen)

The ASC Library started breathing new life into Connecting-Africa last December. This is a service that provides access to African research information produced worldwide and more than 100 publications are currently being added to it on a daily basis. One of the latest acquisitions is a series of digitalized books from the German Colonial Library.

Numerous societies that cared for German emigrants and spread colonial ideas were established in the second half of the 19th century. The Colonial Library houses the libraries of various colonial societies, in total approximately 15,000 monographs and a vast number of colonial journals. This formed the basis of Frankfurt University’s Africana Collection.

 

Sketch (Reise in Nordost-Africa)

Among the publications added to Connecting-Africa are a number of issues of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung, travel books (Reise in Nordost-Africa: 1859 – 1860 ; Skizzen nach der Natur gemalt), companions for emigrants (Kurzer und gründlicher Beschrieb, über die Kolonie in Afrika: zum Gebrauch der Auswanderer und Auswanderungslustigen), lectures (Die Erschliessung Afrikas durch Eisenbahnen : mit einer Karte von Afrika ; Vortrag) and much more.

Treasures from the German Colonial Library | African Studies Centre.