Category News & Opinion

Remembering Jan Vansina

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a tribute page where people can share stories and memories of the late trailblazing historian Jan Vansina, who died on February 8, 2017 in Madison. The Center for Research Libraries Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP) has preserved several of Jan Vansina’s research note collections and […]

Fati Abubakar, Maiduguri’s portrait photographer

We had the pleasure of meeting Fati Abubakar yesterday in our library, with enough time to engage in conversation together with a colleague about the value of photography, the role of archival collections for historical scholarship, and a chance to look at some individual slides (marveling at the intensity that Kodachrome film continues to bring […]

ASA asks for your support of the NEH

The US African Studies Association in partnership with the National Humanities Alliance is organizing support for the many important programs of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As the linked site above states, in light of the fact that the Trump Administration will be shaping its budget request over the coming months with broad input…we […]

Beall’s list of predatory publishers removed

Carl Straumsheim of Inside Higher Ed reported today that Beall’s list of Predatory Publishers is no longer available online, disappearing from the Internet on Sunday January 15, 2017 without comment or explanation. Jeffrey Beall, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver, created the lists in 2008. They grew to include thousands of journals and publishers […]

Fire guts library at University of Jos

We are deeply saddened by news of a catastrophic loss at this Nigerian academic library (along with other university offices, computer labs, student records, and the electronic library). Exams have been postponed, according to news reports. “There was a serious fire incident at the Library Complex, Naraguta Campus, University off [sic] Jos on Saturday 8th October, 2016.” […]

Papa Wemba’s popularity

Here’s a link to an excellent  background story from “the Beeb” on legendary Congolese musician Papa Wemba’s central  role in the African music and culture scenes through six decades. I was not aware that he led the Sape movement, which has gotten some recent popular attention in the media over the last few years. He became […]

Librarians of Timbuktu

Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (2016 Simon & Schuster) is reviewed by Tom Glenn in the Washington Independent Review of Books: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu provides irrefutable evidence that culture and learning in Africa were far more advanced than in Europe by the 16th century when Timbuktu flourished as […]