Welcome

Welcome to the African History Subject Guide at Carleton University Library.

Explore your topic

Introducing Summon - which makes it possible to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.

However, Summon doesn't search everything that the library owns or subscribes to so you will still need to search other resources to find everything that you need. Summon also doesn't let you do sophisticated searches that you may be used to doing in specific databases or the library catalogue.  

When to use Summon

  • When starting research on a topic
  • If you are not sure which databases to use

For assistance using Summon please contact the Research Help Desk.

Books

Databases

By connecting via Carleton Library, you will be able to seamlessly connect to the fulltext of articles that are part of the library's collection. You will also be able to make use of the export to RefWorks function, which will not work if you just go directly to Google Scholar.

Archives & Primary Sources

Primary Sources: 

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the period being studied. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.  Also included are works created later by an eyewitness or a participant in an event, e.g. memoirs/autobiographies.

Types of primary sources:

  • Original documents (including excerpts and translations): diaries, speeches, manuscrips, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records, ancient literature, magazine and newspaper articles.
  • Creative works: poetry, drama, novels, printed music, sound recordings, art.
  • Relics or artefacts: pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings.
  • Statistics and raw data
  • Reproductions, facsimiles or replicas of original documents, creative works or artefacts are also acceptable as primary sources.

Examples of primary sources:

Finding primary sources in the library collection

   1. Original documents can be found by consulting the Archives and Research Collections (ARC) website.
   2. Reproductions can be found by checking the library catalogue.

Use specific words to locate primary sourcees in the Library catalogue, such as: correspondence, sources, diaries, letters, personal naratives. KEYWORD search examples:

  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:correspondence
  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:diaries
  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:letters
  • [KEYWORD] and s:sources

In the library's electronic and microform collections

Provides economic information and profiles on countries from around the world.

An online archive of digitized, full-image journal articles offering access to international scholarly literature in the humanities and social sciences disciplines. An excellent source for Primary Source journal articles.  Articles date back 1802.

A collection of documents from around the world on the topic of slavery.

Available on the Internet

The African Online Digital Library (AODL) is a portal to multimedia collections about Africa.

Full-text of rare Africana, in English or translated into English. Searchable.

An African-led series of national public attitude surveys on democracy and governance in Africa

DISA 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, providing a wealth of material on this fascinating period of the country’s history.

A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.

A collection of articles, books, essays, documents, historical photos, and links for a broad range of historical subjects.

Directory of web sites for archives and libraries with primary sources.

Provides access to seven galleries of photographs, interviews, and documents that highlight traditions, cultures, and histories from Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, and Mauritania.

News and Newspapers

Provides more than 40 searchable African newspapers published in the 19th and 20th centuries. Featuring English- and foreign-language titles from Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, African Newspapers offers unparalleled coverage of the issues and events that shaped the continent and its peoples between 1800 and 1922.

First African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. All 103 issues of the Freedom's Journal have been digitized and available here.

The Centre for Research Libraries (CRL) holds an extensive collection of foreign newspapers in microform including those from African nations.  Borrow from CRL through Interlibrary Loans.

ARCHIVES, LIBRARIES and MUSEUMS

Project to preserve "the record of activities of U.S. organizations and individuals that supported African struggles for freedom ....during the period 1960-1994." "This project will focus mainly on smaller local and regional organizations....especially in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe."

Collection is interdisciplinary, with major strengths in the social sciences and broad representation of the humanities and sciences. Access to current periodicals from and about Africa, African newspapers, maps, African documents and government publications, and books in African history.

A structured vocabulary of 12,100 English terms in the field of African studies.

Provides information concerning the most important of collections, more than 175,000 volume, available at the libraries of the Berkeley campus of the University of California.

Web site from the Internet Archive, which archives web pages from state archives and university libraries. Find archived pages from the Africa Union, Doctors Without Borders, Slate (the e-magazine for example), etc. Institutions build, manage and their own web archive.

A wealth of books, newspapers, journals, archival collections, dissertations, government publications on microfilm and microfiche are available on interlibrary loan to CAMP members. Find holdings through the Centre for Research Libraries catalogue.

ICA's membership includes national archives in Africa and elsewhere. Has a directory of the regional African archival organizations.

IDRC is a Canadian Crown corporation that works with researchers from the developing world in their search for the means to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies. The IDRC Digital Library (IDL) is the Centre's institutional repository of research results. Library publications are available for Interlibrary Loan.

Africana Library's documentation collection contains valuable primary source materials, including copies of rare monographs, manuscripts, newspapers, and journal publications on microfilm and microfiche.

Repository for African and African American studies documentation and an educational outreach division of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

The scope is as wide as the continent of Africa itself; its subject matter ranges from art, history, literature, music, and religion to communications, management, and cooking.

Recognized as one of the world's largest and most comprehensive repositories for the documentation of the history and culture of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and other parts of the world.

Use the Smithsonian Online Catalog (SIRIS) to search for Anthropological fieldnotes, journals, manuscripts, photographs, moving images, sound recordings, artwork, maps and more than 60,000 digital images.

Excellent database resource for finding U.S. archival holdings on Africa.

Library devoted to the history, society and culture of people of African descent.

Independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.

University of Fort Hare and Howard University project to document linkages between Americans and South Africans, principally African Americans, during the anti-apartheid movement. Search the database of collection inventories.

Includes materials in all languages in the humanities and social sciences published in the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal and Mali to South Africa and Lesotho. Most publications acquired are in English, French, Portuguese, or Afrikaans, with an increasing proportion of works in African languages.

Directory to archives (worldwide including African archives), primary sources and finding aids online, archival training / education sources, preservation information, international co-operation, archival associations, conferences, internet resources.

 

Citing Primary Sources : Chicago Style (Library of Congress)

Data & Statistics

Statistics: 

The most detailed collection of data on Africa, containing over 1,600 indicators, covering 53 African countries and spanning the period 1961 to 2008.

For more information on statistics see Government Statistics.

Government Information

Foreign: 

MADGIC houses a major research collection of official publications for the study of Africa . This collection has been actively developed since 1970.

Extensive coverage is given to documentation from:

Countries which were former British colonies:

  • Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Countries with an interest in Africa:

Intergovernmental organizations:

  • Commonwealth, East African Community, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, and the United Nations.

Selected documents from other African countries and regional Governmental organizations are also acquired.

See also Foreign Government Information: Africa guide

Maps & GIS

Maps: 

Media

Images: 

This pictorial database features images selected from family photographs, early African-American educational institutions and from the personal collections of various individuals. It is designed to highlight the "social, political, and cultural" life of the African-American in the nineteenth century.

Approximately 1,235 images in this collection, selected from a wide range of sources, most from the period of slavery.

 

Videos: 

Collection of streaming educational videos that cover a wide spectrum of disciplines. Contains both clips and full-length videos.

For video material at the Carleton Univeristy library, do a KEYWORD search in the library catalogue and limit "Material Type" to FILM/VIDEO. If you cannot find what you need search the following database:

If you wish to borrow a video listed in Watmedia please fill out our Interfilm Video Request form - do not submit requests directly to Watmedia.

Other sources include:

Companion to the six-hour PBS series.

Includes historical information about Liberia.

The Story of Africa tells the history of the continent from an African perspective. Africa's top historians take a fresh look at the events and characters that have shaped the continent from the origins of humankind to the end of South African apartheid.

Websites

General Gateways

This collection contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, 50 hours of sounds from forty-five different countries, as well as a large number of difficult to find texts that librarians, scholars, and other subject specialists have deemed important to these fields of study.

Begun in January 2008, this site offers access to interviews with African studies scholars across the disciplines based at or visiting the university. Conversations are recorded in downloadable formats---MP3s, iTUNES, Podcast.

Digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Searchable.

Associations

Discussions Groups/Listservs

For academic discussion of the cultures and people of Africa.

Unmoderated forum to support the struggle of African women for social progress in Africa and in the world at large and to discuss matters of mutual concern.

African labour history discussion group.

Encourages discussion of issues surrounding the use of primary sources in African humanities and social sciences research.

International electronic discussion group dedicated to the promotion of all aspects of South and Southern Africa history and culture, and Southern African studies in general.

South African genealogy

By Special Topics

Ancient Civilizations and Archaeology

African sites include Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

A bilingual union catalog of records for over 23,000 Arabic manuscripts from West Africa. Searchable.

Exploration and Colonialism

Search for maps, drawings, prints and paintings of locations related to the Dutch East India Company

Medieval manuscripts from libraries around the world dating from the 13th to the 16th centuries, translations and supporting materials and interactive maps showing the routes of the travelers. This collection is part of Adam Matthew Digital.

Slavery

Free online database of over 100,000 slaves brought to Louisiana assembled by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall.

The digital library is a specialized collection of over 5,700 full-text documents relating to refugees and forced migration. Searchable.

Full text of two collections of letters written by former slaves from Virginia who settled in Liberia.

Aims to outline the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and provide access to a database of digital archives relating to the slave trade.

Approximately 1,235 images in this collection, selected from a wide range of sources, most from the period of slavery.

Information on almost 35,000 16th-19th century slaving voyages.

Missionaries

Searchable database. Contents include maps, mission states, photographs and postcars of missonaries.

African Diaspora

A project to collect and publish primary documents illustrating ties between African Americans and Africans in South Africa.

This is the major site and starting place for African-American materials online from the Library of Congress. Included are comprehensive text and images from the nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western Hemisphere. Topics include colonization, migration and abolition.

Provides a focal point for archaeological and interdisciplinary studies of African diasporas, with news, current research, information and links to other web resources related to the archaeology and history of descendants of African peoples.

Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)

This pictorial database features images selected from family photographs, early African-American educational institutions and from the personal collections of various individuals. It is designed to highlight the "social, political, and cultural" life of the African-American in the nineteenth century.

African Women

Has full-text reports on the laws and policies affecting reproductive rights in countries such as: Cameroon, South Africa, Tanzania, Algeria, Anglophone Africa, Francophone Africa among others.

Since its inception in 1996, FAS has worked to foster, strengthen and promote the leading role of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.

See section on Africa

Includes historical information about Liberia.

Women’sNet is a feminist organisation that works to advance gender equality and justice in South Africa through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

By Country

Botswana

Web-site for advanced research on Botswana.

South Africa

Has full-text papers which were presented at the symposium.

People in South Africa have a dynamic, but largely unrecorded heritage. The Centre creates spaces for these stories to be heard, seen and remembered.

DISA 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, providing a wealth of material on this fascinating period of the country’s history.

The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of forced removals.

Primary historical documents. 3 volumes available full-text.

An initiative by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces that seeks to use creative and interactive means to challenge all South Africans to explore the sources of the different perspectives obstructing nation building, and the forging of a common vision for the future.

An independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.

Full text articles from July 1992 to October 2000. Find articles by author, country, subject, full text search. Analysis of events in Southern Africa and the policies of Canada and other western governments relevant to Southern African countries.

Selected full text online documents.
 

 

 

Writing & Citing

Writing:

Citing:

RefWorks

RefWorks is an online research management and writing tool that is designed to help students and researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.
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