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Africa: Getting Started with Research

Physical & Online Sources

Please note that this guide may include pointers to some physical resources in the Boston University Libraries that are not accessible to some or all users due to the person's location or due to access changes put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional help, contact the guide author or get general help at 

Print books from the circulating collection may be requested with our contactless pickup service: BU Libraries 2 Go.

The campus of Boston University is currently closed to visitors and the Libraries will follow this policy by allowing building access only to active BU faculty, students and staff.

The African Studies Library Reading Room is open by appointment only. if you are interested in viewing Special Collections or other non-circulatng material please email us at

About This Guide

Welcome! This guide is intended to provide  some resources and methods for beginning your research on Africa. Visit the African Studies Library virtually or in person. Check out current journals, talk to library staff with experience in the study of Africa, and get started in the right direction.

Choose one of the options on the left to get started…

About the BU African Studies Library

The African Studies Library (ASL) was founded in 1953 and is located on the 6th floor of the Mugar Memorial Library, accessible by the North elevator. Our primary function is to support Boston University’s African Studies Center and all undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research on Africa. Students and faculty from area institutions and the general public are welcome to consult our extensive collections. In addition to our circulating Africana collections, the ASL also houses several special collections. Our staff provides a variety of services including reference assistance, library orientation and instruction, and individual consultations 

The circulating collection is available during the open hours of Mugar Library.  Reference materials and special collections (including maps) are accessible during the open hours of the African Studies Library.


Rachel Dwyer's picture
Rachel Dwyer
African Studies Library
6th floor,
Mugar Memorial Library
Mon-Fri 9am - 5 pm

Head, African Studies Library

Beth Restrick's picture
Beth Restrick
African Studies Library
6th floor, Mugar Memorial Library

Mon-Fri, 9am- 5pm