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Africa: Getting Started with Research

Getting Books Not Available at BU

There are several ways you can obtain books or articles that we do not own. These include:

  • WorldCat Discovery. WorldCat Discovery allows current BU faculty, staff, and students to borrow books directly from other Boston Library Consortium libraries. Turnaround time is approximately three working days. (How to use WorldCat Discovery)

  • Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan services allow current BU faculty, staff, and students to request books, articles, book chapters, and other materials that our ILL staff will obtain from other libraries. Books generally take 2-4 weeks to arrive; articles are generally delivered electronically within 1-2 days.

  • BLC Cards. A Boston Library Consortium Card allows the bearer to borrow—in person—circulating material from a member library, just as you would from a BU library. Boston University faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River Campus may obtain a Consortium Card by filling out an application form. Medical Campus affiliates apply at the Alumni Medical Library.

African Studies Libraries in the United States

Boston University African Studies Library : Includes guides to specialized portions of the print and electronic collections, tutorials and research guides.

Center for Research Libraries: Cooperative Africana Materials Project

Columbia University : Includes a guide to Web resources and research guides.

Cornell University John Henrik Clarke Africana Library : Includes Sankofa, the Africana Library newsletter, and links to related Web sites.

Duke University : Includes a guide to African studies resources in the Duke University Libraries and links to pertinent Web sites.

Harvard UniversityWidener Library ; Tozzer Library

Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center : Includes the Moorland-Spingarn Archives electronic newsletter, HU ArchivesNet .

Indiana University : Includes links to Web sites, including “favorites” suggested by faculty and students; guides to special portions of the collection, and “Africana Resources for Undergraduates: A Bibliographic Essay” by Nancy J. Schmidt, reprinted from Phyllis M. Martin and Patrick O’Meara (eds.) Africa Third edition. Bloomington, IL: Indiana University Press, 1995, p. 413-434.

Library of Congress African and Middle East Reading Room : Includes country guides and links to selected Web sites.

Michigan State University : Contains guides to the collections and selected Web sites.

New York University : Contains research guides and links to selected Web sites, arranged in categories.

Northwestern University Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies : Contains links to catalogs of specialized materials in the collection, including the electronic poster collection, the Conference Paper Index, the Africana Vertical Index, and the Timbuktu Archives, as well as links to selected Web sites and reference sources.

Ohio University : Contains guides to materials in the collection, including the depositories of government publications from Botswana and Swaziland.

Princeton University : Contains links to selected Web sites.

Rutgers University : Contains a guide to reference works, descriptions of special portions of the collection, as well as links to related Web sites.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library) : Contains exhibits and guides to special collections.

Smithsonian Institution, Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art : Contains extensive links to Web sites related to African art.

Stanford University : The Library’s site provides guides to Stanford’s collections. The librarian, Karen Fung, also created and maintains African South of the Sahara, the most comprehensive and well-organized guide to Web sites pertaining to Africa.

State University of New York/Albany : Includes a monthly list of new titles and links to electronic resources.

University of California – Berkeley : Includes links to selected Web sites.

UCLA: Includes links to selected Web sites.

University of Florida : Contains research guides to African women writers and a bibliography of theses and dissertations on Africa completed at the University of Florida from 1956 through 2000.

University of Illinois Africana Library : Contains lists of recent acquisitions, numerous research guides, and a list of theses and dissertations completed at the University of Illinois from 1921 to 2000. TheirAfrican Studies Internet Portal contains links to a wide variety of information on Africa. The Center for African Studies site also contains links to sites useful for research.

University of Iowa hosts the Electronic Journal of Africana Bibliography , and numerous other projects.

University of Kansas contains a guide to Africana resources.

University of Michigan

University of Pennsylvania contains guides to the collection and links to related sites. 

University of Wisconsin . In addition to the main library, there is digital material in their African Studies Collection. The African Studies Program site also provides access to a number of resources and links.

Yale University provides a research guide for Africa and guides to Yale’s collections.

African Studies Libraries Worldwide


University of Botswana has a digital repository.

The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa has the Killie Campbell Africana Library which focuses specifically on Southern Africa.

The Don Africana Library in Durban, South Africa is has a collection dating back to the 16th Century, unfortunately their catalog is not accessible online.


University of Leiden, Holland


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Rachel Dwyer
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African Studies Library
6th floor,
Mugar Memorial Library
Mon-Fri 9am - 5 pm
Subjects: African Studies