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Africa: Reference

This page lists reference works in print about the African collections of the British Library, and about African studies generally. See separate pages for internet links for African studies, and for e-resources and the British Library's African collections in general.

Works about the British Library's African collections

African studies: Key bibliographies and reference works

British Library shelfmarks are given below the items listed. Those beginning 'OIS' and 'OIA' are available in the African and Asian Studies Reading Room.

Works about the British Library's African collections

The British Library's African collections: General works

African Studies: papers presented at a colloquium at the British Library, 7-9 January 1985, edited by Ilse Sternberg and Patricia M. Larby (British Library occasional paper no. 6). London: British Library in association with SCOLMA, 1986.
OIS 960

Sternberg, Ilse
“The British Library's resources of South African materials” in UK library resources for southern African studies. London: SCOLMA, 1984.
2719.k.220

Wallace, Marion
“The African collections at the British Library”, in Conference of South African Bibliophiles: Bibliophilia Africana 8. From papyrus to print-out: the book in Africa, edited by Cora Ovens. Cape Town: National Library of South Africa, 2005.
OIS 028

The British Library's African collections: Printed books

Holden, Carole
“Early printing from Africa in the British Library”, British Library journal, 23 (1), 1997.
BS.10/418(LIS)

Market literature from Nigeria: a checklist, edited by Peter Hogg and Ilse Sternberg. London: British Library, 1990.
2725.g.1317

Sternberg, Ilse
“The British Museum Library and colonial copyright deposit”, British Library journal, 17 (2), 1991.
BS.10/418(LIS)

The British Library's African collections: Manuscripts and archives

Geber, Jill
“The English East India Company at the Cape and the Cape of Good Hope factory records, 1773–1836”, South African archives journal, 36, 1994.
2719.y.283

Geber, Jill
“Southern African sources in the Oriental and India Office Collections (OIOC) of the British Library”, African research and documentation, 70, 1996.
P.803/468

Geber, Jill
“The East India Company and southern Africa: a guide to the archives of the East India Company and the Board of Control, 1600-1858”. PhD, University of London, 1998.
OIR 026.954

Makepeace, Margaret
“English traders on the Guinea coast, 1657–1668: an analysis of the East India Company archive”, History in Africa, 16, 1989.
ORW.1990.a.1369

Pearson, J. D.
A guide to manuscripts and documents in the British Isles relating to Africa, vol. 1,  London and vol. 2, The British Isles (excluding London). London: Mansell, 1993–4.
(Revised edition of: D. Matthews and N. Wainwright, Guide to manuscripts and documents in the British Isles relating to Africa. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.)
OIS 960.016

Trade on the Guinea Coast, 1657–1666: the correspondence of the English East India Company, edited by Margaret Makepeace. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1991.
OIR 354.665

Tuson, Penelope
Zanzibar: sources in the India Office Records. [London], [198-?].
OIR 026.954

Wallace, Marion
“Accidental archives: tracing Africa in the India Office Private Papers in the British Library”, African research and documentation, 98, 2005.
P.803/468

The British Library's African collections: Maps

“British Library: Department of Manuscripts” in Maps and mapping of Africa, edited by Patricia M. Larby (papers of the SCOLMA/BRICMICS conference). London: SCOLMA, 1987.

Huddy, John
“British Library: Map Library collections” in Maps and mapping of Africa, edited by Patricia M. Larby.

African studies: Key bibliographies and reference works

Current bibliographies for African studies (published as periodicals)

Africa bibliography
Annual publication covering books, articles and chapters relating to Africa, mainly in the social and environmental sciences, development studies and arts and humanities.
ZC.9.a.737

African book publishing record
Periodical giving reviews and bibliography of books published in Africa.
P.1113/2
2725.c.654
Titles cumulated in:
African books in print. London: Bowker-Saur, 2000, 5th ed.
OIS.015.6

A current bibliography on African affairs
Abstracts of journal articles in natural sciences, medicine, arts and humanities and social sciences.
PP.8004.GG

International African bibliography
Covers books and periodicals, mainly in humanities and the social sciences.
P.1071/8
Volumes 3-8 cumulated in:
Pearson, J.D.
International African bibliography 1973-1978: books, articles, and papers in African Studies. London: Mansell, 1982.
q94/04256

Key research and reference guides

The African studies companion, edited by Hans Zell. Lochcarron: Hans Zell, 4th ed. 2006.
OIS 960.07

Kagan, Alfred
Reference guide to Africa: a bibliography of sources. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2nd ed. 2005.
OIS 960.016

McIlwaine, John
Africa: A guide to reference material. London: Hans Zell, 2nd ed. 2007.
OIS 960.016

Porges, Laurence
Sources d'information sur l'Afrique noire francophone et Madagascar: institutions, répertoires, bibliographies. Paris: Documentation française, 1988.
OIS 960.016

Other research and bibliographical guides

Africa south of the Sahara: index to periodical literature, compiled by Library of Congress. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall
Volumes 1-4, 1971. OIS 967.001
1st supplement, 1973. OIS 967.001
2nd supplement, 1982. OPL 967.005

L'Afrique en livres: 4000 titres disponibles. Paris: France Édition, 1997.
YA.1998.a.7092

Bibliography of imperial, colonial, and Commonwealth history since 1600, edited by A.N. Porter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
2725.g.3340
HLR 909.09712

Bischof, Phyllis et al.
“Africa” in , Guide to reference books, edited by Robert Balay. Chicago: American Library Association, 11th ed., 1996.
HUR 011.02
HLR Enquiry Desk 011.02

Scheven, Yvette
Bibliographies for African studies, 1970–86. Oxford: Hans Zell, 1988.
OIS 960.016

Bibliographies for African studies, 1987–93, compiled by Phyllis Bischof, edited by Yvette Scheven. London: Hans Zell, 1994.
OIS 960.016

Schmidt, Nancy
“Africana resources for undergraduates” in Africa, edited by Phyllis M. Martin and Patrick O’Meara. London: James Currey, 1995.
YC.1995.b.7136

Standing Conference on Library Materials on Africa
Periodicals from Africa: a bibliography and union list of periodicals published in Africa. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1977.
OIS 011.34

Blake, David
Periodicals from Africa: a bibliography and union list of periodicals published in Africa, first supplement. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1984.
OIS 011.34

A number of other bibliographies and reference books (general and covering specific countries, regions and subject areas) are available in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room at the OIS shelfmark. See, in particular, the series of country bibliographies published by Clio, and the historical dictionaries published by Scarecrow.

Bibliographies and overviews for precolonial and early colonial African history

Fage, J.D.
A guide to original sources for precolonial western Africa published in European languages: for the most part in book form. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison, rev. ed. 1994.
OIS 966.02
Also available on the Internet here.

Hess, Robert and Dalvan Coger
Semper ex Africa…a bibliography of primary sources for nineteenth-century tropical Africa as recorded by explorers, missionaries etc… Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press, 1971.
OIS 916.7

Paulitschke, Philipp
Die Afrika-Literatur in der Zeit von 1500 bis 1750 n. Ch. Ein Beitrag zur geographischen Quellenkunde. Brockhausen u. Bräuer, Vienna: 1882.
11902.d.1.

Coquery-Vidrovitch, Catherine
La découverte de l'Afrique: l'Afrique noire atlantique des origines au XVIIIe siècle. Paris: l’Harmattan, 2003.
YF.2005.a.13081

Corpus of early Arabic sources for West African history, edited by N. Levtzion and J.F.P. Hopkins; translated by J.F.P. Hopkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
X.800/29853

Guides to Africana holdings in libraries and archives

Brown, Clare
Manuscript Collections in the Rhodes House Library, Oxford. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1996.
2702.b.340

Conseil International des Archives
Sources de l’histoire de l’Afrique du Sud du Sahara dans les archives et bibliothèques françaises (vol. 1 Archives; vol. 2 Bibliothèques; vol 3. Index). Zug, Switzerland: Inter Documentation Co., 1976.

Cook, Chris.
The making of modern Africa: a guide to archives. New York: Facts on File, 1995.
OIS 960.016

French, Tom (ed.)
The SCOLMA directory of libraries and special collections on Africa in the UK and Europe, 5th ed. London: Hans Zell, 1993.
OIS 026.96

McIlwaine, John
Writings on African archives. London: Hans Zell, 1996.
OIS 026.96

Pearson, J. D.
A guide to manuscripts and documents in the British Isles relating to Africa, vol. 1, London and vol. 2, The British Isles (excluding London). London: Mansell, 1993–4.
(Revised edition of: D. Matthews and N. Wainwright, Guide to manuscripts and documents in the British Isles relating to Africa. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.)
OIS 960.016

South, Aloha
Guide to federal archives relating to Africa. Honolulu: Crossroads Press, 1977.
OPL 960.016

South, Aloha
Guide to non-federal archives and manuscripts in the United States relating to Africa. London: Hans Zell, 1989.
89/26308 (vol. 1)
89/26309 (vol. 2)

Thurston, Anne
Records of the Colonial Office, Dominions Office, Commonwealth Relations Office and Commonwealth Office. London: HMSO, 1995.
Records of the Cabinet, Foreign Office, Treasury and other records. London: Stationery Office, 1998.
(British documents on the end of empire. Series C, Sources for colonial studies in the Public Record Office [UK National Archives], vols 1 and 2).
OIA 909.097

Thurston, Anne
Guide to archives and manuscripts relating to Kenya and East Africa in the United Kingdom. London: Hans Zell, 1991.
OPL 967.620076


Tuson, Penelope
Zanzibar: sources in the India Office Records. [London], [198-?].
OIR 026.954

Wallace, Marion
“Accidental archives: tracing Africa in the India Office Private Papers in the British Library”, African research and documentation, 98, 2005.
P.803/468

The British Library's African collections: Maps

“British Library: Department of Manuscripts” in Maps and mapping of Africa, edited by Patricia M. Larby (papers of the SCOLMA/BRICMICS conference). London: SCOLMA, 1987.

Huddy, John
“British Library: Map Library collections” in Maps and mapping of Africa, edited by Patricia M. Larby.