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African Studies Library: Special Collections

Legio Maria - Nancy Schwartz Collection

This collection comprises materials collected by Nancy "Penny" Schwartz during her anthropological research on the Legio Maria religious movement in Kenya.

The Legio Maria, or Legio Maria of African Church Mission, is an African-initiated church initiated among the Luo of western Kenya. It branched off of the Catholic Church in the 1960's and became an officially recognized church in Kenya in 1966. 

The collection includes field notes, field recordings, manuscripts of Schwartz's doctoral dissertation, religious artifacts, and her personal library of books and articles on Kenya, Legio Maria and related faiths, and Luo language and culture.

Please note that portions of this collection are still in processing, but may be consulted in the African Studies Library Reading Room upon request.

Click here to browse books and materials from her collection.

Archive of the Republic of Niger (AREN)

Postage stamps from Niger


The Archive of the Republic of Niger at Boston University (AREN) is designed to serve not only as an archive but also as a bridge between Nigerien and American stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic. The growing collection of digital material, including photographs dating back to the 1960s, can be accessed At This Site.

Industrial and Commercial Workers Union correspondence 1927-1930, 1977

This collection primarily consists of correspondence between South African novelist Ethelreda Lewis and the Carnegie Corporation, particularly Frederick P. Keppel.  Lewis wrote seeking funding for the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (I.C.U.).

Ruth S. Morgenthau Collection

The Ruth S. Morganthau Collection is currently being processed and all materials may not be accessible at this time.

For more information, please contact the African Studies Library at


Boston University’s African Presidential Center (APC), also known as the African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) was led by the former US Ambassador to Tanzania, Charles Stith, who began this organization with the intent to chronicle and facilitate developmental growth in Africa. The Center worked with fifteen democratic African countries: Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Some materials are available online on our institutional repository, OpenBU.

Ephemera / Pamphlet Collections

   What is ephemera or gray literature?  

Ephemera is a term given to materials that are considered to be of only temporary importance. Materials could include things like typescripts, manuscripts, memos, hand-written letters, pamphlets, etc. 

Gray literature typically includes publications such as reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include government departments and agencies, civil society or non-governmental organizations, academic centres and departments, and private companies and consultants.


The African Studies Library has a significant collection of ephemera / gray literature / pamphlets organized by country/region and subject. Ask the African Studies Librarians to show you the collection; it's a treasure trove of information!


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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

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