50 years DFG-funded Special Collection “Africa South of the Sahara” (1964-2014) at Frankfurt University Library

Since 1964 Frankfurt University Library (at that time called “City and University Library”) is in charge of the Special Subject Collection 6.31 “Africa South of the Sahara” in a co-operative acquisition scheme funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). Some 20 German university, state and special libraries cover more than 100 academic disciplines and regions. The aim is to acquire at least one copy of every relevant book for a German library. Nationwide access is guaranteed via interlibrary loan. With more than 210,000 volumes, “Africa South of the Sahara” is the largest collection on sub-Saharan Africa in Germany and one of the top collections in Europe.


Between 1964 and 2014 the funding of the DFG allowed to collect continuously books, journals and other materials published in African countries with the help of local vendors, on acquisition trips, and with the help, e.g., of the Library of Congress Nairobi Office and the Goethe-Institut. In 1970 the DFG sponsored 32000 DM to acquire 1077 volumes, in the 1980s and 1990s the DFG-part raised up to 100000 DM allowing to add on average around 3000 books a year to the collection. In 2014 the DFG-budget exceeded 100000 EUR. The library in Frankfurt added the necessary own contribution and especially the funds for staff and space. These numbers demonstrate the strong continuity in funding and collection building.

Additionally, it was possible to develop and maintain bibliographic and current awareness services in a broad sense and to adapt these services to the general technical development: e.g. from the printed “Current Contents Africa” (1975-1993) to the “Online Contents”-database (2009-) included in ilissAfrica. At all times it was possible to raise extra funds for the acquisition of special collections, like those of Janheinz Jahn or Janos Riesz.

Finally, beside the regular tasks of collection building, indexing and information services two large projects were managed to get realized: first the digitization of the Colonial Picture Archive (1991-2004), second the set-up of the ilissAfrica subject gateway (2007-2010). In the following a survey of the stages of development, services and projects is given.

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5,000 websites indexed in ilissAfrica

ilissAfrica managed to hit the 5,000 mark in October: The database on internet resources offers a collection of websites from and on sub-Saharan Africa. These websites are indexed comprehensively with keywords, abstracts, and classifications.

Goethe-InstitutThe website “Word of Mouth” of the Goethe-Institut was the 5,000th website indexed by the staff of ilissAfrica. It offers a very good introduction to the topic of orality. The project aims to build bridges between societies shaped by oral traditions and the predominantly text-based global knowledge society. In addition, “Word of Mouth” presents information on German activities in the field of oral history, oral literature, new media and indigenous knowledge thus facilitating intercultural exchange.

ilissAfrica’s “General search” allows a combined search in major African Studies library catalogues and databases together with the database on websites mentioned. Try the following search for “orality“. Another example might be the search for “truth commission” leading not only to books, articles and other full text studies, but also to the offical website of the truth commissions of South Africa, Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Aften four years of operation the “internet library sub-saharan Africa” is very proud to be labled as “an excellent resource” by the standard reference work “African Studies Companion” published online by Brill and edited by Marie-José Wijntjes (founding editor: Hans Zell). We appreciate any feedback to further improve ilissAfrica.

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Guide on “African fiction in local languages of non-European origin”

Herbert Chimhundu: Chakwesha, Harare: College Press, 1997 (1991). A novel in Shona on the journey from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

Several libraries collect material in local African languages of non-European origin. This guide gives a few hints on how to find novels in Swahili, poetry in Ndebele or plays in Xhosa. Libraries do use certain methods of subject indexing and classification helping to locate literature in African languages in the library catalogues.

Some of the approaches do also apply for the local literature in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. However, the main focus of this guide is on local African languages of non-European origin.

Frankfurt University Library, Germany

The DFG-funded special subject collection on Africa South of the Sahara uses keywords according to the German authority file GND and the RWSK-rules. Additionally, we also name the language and the genre of the fictional text.

The pattern is:

Country, e.g. “Simbabwe”
Language, e.g. “Ndebele-Sprache, Simbabwe”
Genre, e.g. “Roman” (novel)

With this type of keyword search Zimbabwean novels in Ndebele can be found.

Other examples are:

For the purpose of classification an “Eppelsheimer”-inhouse solution is applied. This allows to answer some broader questions: All novels from Africa in Frankfurt University library can be retrieved e.g. with “3!! M 0059 k*“.

The pattern to index fictional text looks like this:

334 = e.g is the country code for Kenya
M 0059 = is a fictional text
k = novel, h =drama, e = poems, m = short story etc.

The code for local African languages is:

A combination of both is possible, some examples:

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Travel account with bast binding restored

In December 2011 the article “Touching wild animals and other dangers in a library” presented some special bindings of books of the Africa collection of Frankfurt University Library. One of them was

Richard A. Bermann: Zarzura, die Oase der kleinen Vögel. Die Geschichte einer Expedition in die Libysche Wüste, Zürich: Füssli 1938, S 17/2991.

This travel account from the Austrian Richard A. Bermann alias Arnold Höllriegel has a bast binding made by local people in Madagascar (not in the region of the travel route): „Der Bast für den Einband wurde durch Eingeborene Madagaskars eigens für dieses Buch mit der Hand gewoben.“

However, time left it’s mark on the binding:

In January 2012 Manuela Keßler, from our restoration laboratory, repaired the binding. Bast was dyed and folded into small fibres. The threads were tied up to the exiting ones.

Missing parts at the back and the edges were amended.

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Touching wild animals and other dangers in a library

Do not annoy an elephant. Do not cut yourself being in love. How to avoid these dangers? How to pet an elephant without fear? Come in our library’s Africa department and make a very special sensual experience. This little photo story is about the haptics of books on and from Africa.

cover detail of Michael Poliza (& friends): South Africa, Kempen: teNeues 2010, F 89.262.82

I have chosen some examples from our Africa collection at Frankfurt University Library to demonstrate that

  • to handle a book is more than just grabbing and open it,
  • experiencing the surface feel can be joyful and fulfilling,
  • books are physical objects with much more quality characteristics than one would expect,
  • books can be art.

The following amateurish pictures were done by myself and are biased – they only should make you curious. Haptics cannot be captured in a photograph at all. So do come and enjoy our physical books.

1. Animal skins

Tania Blixen: Jenseits von Afrika, Zürich: Manesse 2010, 89.081.39

The grey embossed paper cover, the large size and the heavy weight of the pictorial book by the well known photographer Michael Poliza (and others like Chris Fallows, Thomas P. Peschak, Mandla Mnyakama) on South Africa fit very well to the cover picture of the book jacket. However, this special paper has also been used in other colours, evoking perhaps the skin of an antelope or more generally the wild life of Africa.

The Swiss edition of Tania/Karen Blixen’s “Out of Africa” by Manesse in 2010 was printed and bound by „GCP Media GmbH, Pößneck”. In the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung a reviewer statet:

Manchen Büchern sollte man unter den Rock gucken, um sie als Gesamtkunstwerk würdigen zu können. Die neue deutsche Ausgabe des Klassikers ‘Jenseits von Afrika’, dessen Autorin bei uns als Tania Blixen bekannt ist, trägt unter dem Schutzumschlag einen Einband mit edler, kakaofarbener Antilopenfell-Anmutung. Und auf dem Deckel steht, in Versalien, nichts als das Wort „Afrika“ – der Name des Kontinents, den just im Erscheinungsjahr ein sportliches Großereignis ins Zentrum der medialen Aufmerksamkeit rückt.
Kristina Maidt-Zinke: Der ganze Erdteil war ihr Handspiegel. Tania Blixens Hauptwerk „Jenseits von Afrika“ in einer nuancierteren Neuübersetzung aus dem Dänischen, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung 12.07.2010, Literatur, Seite 14.

In short she suggests “to gaze under the skirt” of this book to value end experience the book as a masterpiece of art.

F 89 346 85The animals and the nature of Africa are the most prominent in public interest and contribute to the romantic stereotype attached to the continent. Another example is the cover of Michael Poliza: Classic Africa, Kempen: teNeues 2010, F 89 346 85, showing a collection of artistic duotone prints.

Simply holding this book, lifting it, looking at it, feeling the cover; it is clear this book is special. It is the rare book that begs to be opened. […] The cover is something very special. The material is some kind of synthetic material with an animal fur texture.

Daniel G. Lebryk: Gorgeous, Amazon review on Classic Africa (Hardcover), 17.12.2010.

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New German National License: “African Writers Series” online

For over 40 years, Heinemann’s African Writers Series published canonical twentieth century texts of African literature. The online edition by ProQuest’s Chadwyck-Healey includes over 250 volumes of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose, including works by Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Steve Biko, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Christopher Okigbo, Okot p’Bitek and Tayeb Salih.

The African Writers Series (AWS) of Heinemann Educational Books was founded in 1962 with the publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (originally published in 1958) as AWS No. 1, and with Achebe himself as Founding Editor. Achebe remained Series Editor until 1972, by which time the series included 100 titles. “The list of names of editorial board members drawn from different academic disciplines reads like a ‘who’s who’ in African literary studies.” (Clarke 2003, 165) The initial aim was to produce a paperback series featuring writing by African authors (initially, this was limited to black African authors) that would be affordable for a general African readership. Most of the works in the Series come from English-speaking countries in Western, Southern and Eastern Africa, but there are also a number of volumes translated from French, Portuguese, Zulu, Swahili, Acoli, Sesotho, Afrikaans, Luganda and Arabic (compare the About section of the database).

Africa Writes Back

As African nations won independence, writers like Achebe began to forge distinctive national literatures throughout the continent. Contrary to the colonialist perceptions they want to demonstrate that Africa had a history and a culture in its own right (Okyerefo 2001). „The series gives agency to the African because the novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and autobiographies are written by Africans about Africans, telling their own stories in their own voices for both Africans and non-Africans.“ (Clarke 2003, 168) The series not only launched the national but also triggered a pan-african literature discourse. Programmatically, one of the series’ editor, James Currey, called his memoir “Africa Writes Back. The African Writers Series & the launch of African literature” (Currey 2008).  Authors from East Africa now could be read in West Africa, and works by Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o entered the world market. The English translations of Mongo Beti’s „Le Pauvre Christ de Bomba“ or Sembène Ousmane’s „Le Docker Noir“ were sold much more often than the French editions.

The series editor James Currey reported extensively about the history of the AWS and his personal achievements:

“My connections with South African writers in exile as well as with writers surviving in that country made books available internationally that could not have appeared in South Africa. Later, David Philip, the Cape Town publisher, found a legal loophole which with Heinemann’s co-operation enabled writers such as Alex la Guma to be reprinted in South Africa; this evaded the banned list operated by South African customs at the ports of entry.” (Curry 2003, 580; see also Curry 2008, 183)

However, in the beginnings it was a male Africa. In the first 100 titles only one female author features: Nigeria’s Flora Nwapa (Fraser/Bejjit 2005).

Online advantages & peculiarities

The full-text format allows new approaches to the old literature:

“Researchers can run searches across the whole corpus of texts to find instances of specific words or phrases: one can search for key terms of African nationalist discourse such as ‘Azania’ or ‘black consciousness’, for terms associated with politics and class distinctions such as ‘socialism’, ‘democracy’, ‘middle class’, ‘accent’ or ‘elite’, or simply for references to specific tribes or languages, such as ‘Yoruba’, ‘Xhosa’ or ‘Tswana’.” (Kibble 2005, 66)

The AWS online edition may be useful for studies

  • on the self-conception of an African writer and intellectual
  • on English language and literature and the establishment of a canon of great literature
  • on gender and on cultural contacts, e.g. in the work of Amma Darko (Beyond the Horizon, 1995) with Germany
  • on postcolonialism, e.g. with the question on how colonial structures survived after independence
  • on Romance literature due to the translations from the Portuguese and French (the search can be restricted to translations or the original language of origin)
  • on history, e.g. with the autobiographies of Kenneth Kaundas and Olusegun Obasanjo
  • on the construction of ethnicity, e.g. of the Ibo and
  • on the history of publishing in Africa.

Useful links for users of the Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections like Case Studies, Sample Searches, or How to Cite Texts from the Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections.










Editorial Policy

Each volume is reproduced in full, including accompanying text by the author, introductions, notes, glossaries and other editorial matter, and illustrations. Each volume, including anthologies and collections, can be browsed in its entirety via a Table of Contents. All authors are indexed by gender, nationality and dates of birth/death, and all texts by details of first publication (date, place, publisher and language) and details of first publication in the AWS (date and AWS series number). These index fields are all searchable from the Search page, and are displayed in the bibliographic details for each volume. The names of translators and anthology editors, and alternate name forms of authors, are also searchable via the Author field. Original pagination is preserved, and the page layout of poems is reproduced as accurately as possible. Scanned images are used as a supplement to the keyed text for illustrations, figures and unusual page layouts. Typographic characters that cannot be displayed using a web-safe extended Latin character set have been mapped to standard-character equivalents, and scanned images have been provided for cross-referencing (see Editorial Policy).

The Librarians view

Since 2005 the first three attempts to get the National License funding for the African Writers Series were unsuccessful, luckily in 2011 things changed. It took seven years to make this important corpus available to all researchers in Germany.

This corpus is one of the seldom undertakings where literature which is still under copyright protection is digitized:

“The digitisation of the AWS is a substantial undertaking […]. Almost all of the texts included in the AWS are in copyright, which means that the first task has been to identify a rights holder for each title and negotiate a license for electronic reproduction of the text.” (Kibble 2005, 66)

An overview about the printed books gives Frankfurt University’s library catalogue; further studies on the African Writers Series can be accessed via ilissAfrica.

AWS supplements the German National License „Corpus de la littérature francophone de l’Afrique noire“.

Now, please do explore the wealth of the online edition of the African Writers Series!


  • Clarke, Becky: The African Writers Series: celebrating forty years of publishing distinction, in: Research in African Literatures 34 (2003), 2, pp. 163-174, online.
  • Currey, James: Africa writes back : the African writers series & the launch of African Literature, Oxford : Currey, 2008.
  • Currey, James: Chinua Achebe, the African Writers Series and the Establishment of African Literature, in: African Affairs 102 (2003), 409, pp. 575-587, online.
  • Fraser, Robert / Nourdin Bejjit: THE TIGER THAT POUNCED: THE AFRICAN WRITERS SERIES (1962–2003) AND THE ONLINE READER, 2005, Introductory Essay, http://collections.chadwyck.co.uk/infoCentre/products/aws_hist.jsp.
  • Information Centre : About African Writers Series: http://collections.chadwyck.co.uk/infoCentre/products/about_ilc.jsp
  • Kaiza, David: But Why, Father? looking back on the legacy of the African Writers Series, fifty years on, in: Transition 106 (2011), pp. B88-B105.
  • Kibble, Matt: The African Writers Series reborn: an electronic edition, in: Wasafiri 46 (2005), pp. 66-68.
  • Okyerefo, Michael Perry Kweku: The Cultural Crisis of Sub-Saharan Africa as Depicted in the African Writers’ Series. A Sociological Perspective, Frankfurt am Main: Lang 2001.

Note to our German users:

Since September 2013 the works are indexed as individual titles in the catalogue of Frankfurt University Library.

Africa in the study by Octavio Kulesz on “Digital publishing in developing countries” (2011)

At 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair in a discussion “Digital publishing in the South” organized by the Buenos Aires International Book Fair, Fundación El Libro and the Frankfurt Book Fair a new study for the International Alliance of Independent Publishers by Octavio Kulesz was presented (13.10.2011, 5.1 A 962, Forum Dialog). The research was done in October 2010, the study was publishedin February 2011.

Here is my personal summary of pp. 40-56 covering sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Kulesz is very critical on projects like Worldreader or One Laptop Per Child because they do not take into account the particular conditions of the local context. Among others they do not offer content in local languages and a business model designed for local creators is missing (pp.43-45).
  • The POD option is discussed with two examples of South Africa: Paperight (Electric Book Works) is a platform that promises to transform any computer with a printer and internet connection – e.g. in the local photocopying centre – into an on-demand store. Another independent South African publisher, Jacana Media, thinks about the Espresso Book Machine, to allow them to reduce distribution costs and replace the prevailing business model (p. 46).
    In the Book Fair discussion Bridget Impey from Jacana was present and elaborated on this idea – she also reported of the big companies of the North trying to get the African content, but she stresses that the delay in digital publishing in Africa has the advantage of having the possibility to think very carefully about how and to whom the content should be given.
  • The study introduces the leading online stores in Afric like Kalahari or Exclus1ve Books (p.47).
  • AJOL and Human Sciences Research Council Press (HSRC) are presented as noteworthy cases under the headline “digital repositories” (p.48,49).
  • Finally, another actor “that is perhaps the real protagonist of future electronic publishing in Africa: the mobile phone” is tackled (together with M-Pesa). The study then describes activities to use the existing cellular network to distribute works of fiction. (p.49-52).
  • Let us see if print on demand will represent a key step forward in the future (p. 53).
  • One of the mentioned problems is the conversion of backlists to digital format, which meens a hugh investment (p.54).
  • Concerning expensive software – like Adobes InDesign – open source solutions might offer a way, however: “It must be stated that only two of the publishers interviewed from sub-Saharan Africa declared themselves familiar with open source solutions.” (p. 55)

The result of the study in short:

“Based on the cases studied we can outline a number of
future trends:
1.    The mobile phone network will continue to be fertile terrain for new
experiments in book publishing or promotion, given that Internet
penetration will certainly take many years to reach the levels of other
regions; in the field of cell phones we will probably witness the exploration
of business models that do not even exist in the US or Europe.
2.    Print on demand will have a greater presence.
3.    The training of traditional publishers will be a decisive factor that
might accelerate change. The key will lie in the ability of African professionals
to exploit the potential of digital technology without falling
into formulas for “implanting” technologies inconsistent with the local
reality which – like a deus ex machina –, not only do not help but
may be a considerable waste of time and resources.” (p.56)

Another recommendation on the subject is the blog post “Les téléphones mobiles et l’édition au Burkina Faso – Entretien avec Jean-Claude Naba Par Octavio Kulesz” , 04 October 2011.

On Display: Translations as examples of German-African cultural cooperation to preserve the cultural heritage of the Ewe people in present-day Togo and Ghana

Recently a new translation of Jakob Spieth’s book on the Ewe people was published:

  • Jakob Spieth: The Ewe people : a study of the Ewe people in German Togo. – Accra : Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2011.

Already in 2009 a French translation appeared:

  • Jakob Spieth: Les communautés ewe. – Lomé : Presses de l’UL, 2009

The stories behind these two translations give examples for the successful collaboration of a multitude of dedicated persons and institutional stakeholders. Academics, publishers, diplomats, librarians and representatives of cultural institutes joined efforts, time and money to make an important historical source available to the local people.

For more than twenty years the German missionary Jakob Spieth (1856-1914) lived in Ho, located in former German colony of Togo, now part of the modern Ghana. In his magnum opus called “Die Ewe-Stämme: Material zur Kunde des Ewe-Volkes in Deutsch-Togo“ published in 1906 by Reimer in Berlin he gives a detailed account of the history, the social, cultural and economic life of the Ewe. He also translated the bible into the language of the Ewe people.

The English translation of 2011 was edited by Komla Amoaku of the Institute for Music and Development, Ho, Ghana. The translation work was made by Marcellinus Edorh, Emmanuel Tsaku, Raphael Avornyo and Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu. The German Goethe Institut in Accra, Ghana, provided organisational support and contacts to Germany’s Federal Foreign Office which contributed a substantial amount of money. Already in 2007 Akoss Ofori Mensah from the Sub-Saharan Publishers, Legon, became involved. We got in contact at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2007. In the colonial special collection two copies of the original German publication of 1906 are available. Given its age and rarity an international interlibrary loan was not possible. However, I could find the kind support of the colleagues at the Bavarian State Library. They quickly digitized the roughly 1000 pages by Spieth and put the high quality scans on the web for free and worldwide usage of the German original document. Then the Goethe Institut in Ghana printed this version as the physical base for the translation team.

The French translation was done at the “Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Germon-Togolaises” (CERGETO) at the Département d’Allemand, Université de Lomé, by Séna Akakpo-Numado, Dotsé Yigbe, Kokou Azamede and Komi Kossi-Titrikou under the direction of the professors Nicoué Gayibor and Amétépé Yaovi Ahadji. The German embassy at Lomé supported the work and the publication financially to support the preservation of the Ewe culture in Togo, but also to make this source available to the francophone public worldwide. Frankfurt University Library could support the work of Kokou Azamede in 2009. For further information on the Ewe see our “internet library sub-saharan Africa” (ilissAfrica).

The laborious translations into English, French and contemporary Ewe might create a revival of interest amongst researchers, contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Ewe people and become reading material in schools and universities.

Dr. Hartmut Bergenthum, head of the Africa department, Frankfurt University Library

Two 18th century Abyssinian manuscripts missing since 1945 safely returned to Frankfurt University Library

From 1831 to 1834 Eduard Rüppell (1794-1884) travelled to Abyssinia (nowadays Ethiopia). In Gondar he met the local erudite Lik Atkum who helped Rüppell to acquire 23 religious manuscripts mostly written on vellum. After his return to Germany he donated them to the Frankfurt public library. During World War II the stocks of the public library were evacuated to the village Mitwitz in Upper Franconia (near Coburg). In the summer of 1943 the evacuation of the library holdings began. They were stored in the then empty lower castle (“Untere Schloß”, now called “Wasserschloß”). Till autumn 1944 450.000 volumes were evacuated, in 1946 most of the books returned safely to Frankfurt (Binder, pp. 207-218). However, six of the Abyssinian manuscripts got lost, perhaps during the hectic removal, or the final stage of the war 1945 or the return transfer. In 1980 the first was given back to the then called “Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek”. At the beginning of 2011 another two manuscripts counted for lost were restored to Frankfurt University Library with great fortune.

The first codex was written for Negus Hezkejas, who reigned from 1780 to 1786, and contains prayers and e.g. the Book of Psalms in Amharic and Ethiopian (Goldschmidt, No. 3; modern call number Ms.or.133). The second is the translated (church) history of Elmacin (1223-1273) probably from the middle of the 18th century (Goldschmidt, No. 21; modern call number Ms.or.134). They are in a good condition. A distinctive feature is the interloop binding. The binding has been restored and a little bit of dirt and old mould has been removed. They are available for researchers in our manuscripts reading room.

Posters about Rüppell and the restoration will be presented to the public on Saturday, 14th May 2011, in the “Haus am Dom”, Domplatz 3, Frankfurt/Main, from 11:00 on (“7. Nationaler Aktionstag der “Allianz Schriftliches Kulturgut Erhalten”).

Further manuscripts of the collection by Rüppell already have been digitized and can be accessed online, here are two examples:

1.) the prayers of the Virgin Mary written around 1750 by Abrocoros (Goldschmidt, No. 13; modern call number Ms.or.17, the picture on the left is on p. 6)
2.) the paintings of the life of Christ, 17th century (Goldschmidt, No. 14; modern Call Number Ms.or.18, bottom picture on p. 24)

Literature and further information:

  • Goldschmidt, Lazarus: Die abessinischen Handschriften der Stadtbibliothek zu Frankfurt am Main (Rüppell’sche Sammlung), Berlin : Calvary, 1897.
  • Binder, Johanna: Die Stadtbibliothek 1939-1950, in: Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (ed.): Bibliotheca Publica Francofurtensis – 500 Jahre Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main : Stadt- u. Universitätsbibliothek 1985, pp. 205-226.

Frankfurt University Library’s Africa Collection: Highlights of 2010

The Special Collection on Africa south of the Sahara at Frankfurt University Library looks back on a successful year 2010:

  • the acquisition budget rose to 152.000 EUR compared to 138.000 EUR in 2009, of which 60 %  were funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 47.000 EUR of this were spent on periodicals
  • 3.697 books were bought and 200 were received as gifts
  • more than 1.300 of these books were published in Africa (e.g. via LoC Office Nairobi, Thorold, African Books Collective, Africa Book Centre, Soumbala, Espace Afrique)
  • 2.233 documents were delivered to German libraries via inter-library loan and even 210 to foreign countries
  • the number of DFG funded German national licences with relevance to the African Studies rose to 24 including e.g. “eHRAF”, “Corpus de la littérature francophone de l’Afrique noire” and the “World Bank E-Library Archive” with more than 110 E-Books on Africa
  • “Africa-Wide NiPAD” now is called “Africa-Wide Information” and is offered to all German users as a Pay-per-Use-Access
  • until the end of 2010 more than 4.000 websites had been indexed in ilissAfrica
  • the catalogues of NAI Uppsala and IFEAS Mainz were integrated in the cross search of ilissAfrica
  • a new e-learning-tutorial on „African Studies Informationskompetenz“ for our German users were set up as a Wiki
  • the ilissAfrica Dashboard on Netvibes offers a tool to keep up with the masses of information
  • our information and marketing policy was extended to WordPress, Twitter and Facebook
  • an information booth, a workshop and a presentation to German junior scholars at the meeting of the “Vereinigung der Afrikawissenschaften in Deutschland” (VAD), 7.-11.4.2010, at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, were used for the evaluation of ilissAfrica
  • the European network was fostered, e.g. 7.6.2010 in London on the annual meeting of the European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS)

Please, allow me a personal ending: The people at the Africa department and the ilissAfrica project did a very good job in 2010. Thank you very much for all your efforts! We are glad about our core project partner at the GIGA Information Centre in Hamburg. Additionally, we have to thank the staff of Frankfurt University Library and especially the acquisition and media department who supported our activities in all conceivable ways. And finally, we thank all our colleagues, especially in Europe, who share their experiences with us generously.

I wish you all a Happy Easter and hopefully we will meet personally in 2011, a good opportunity would be in June in Uppsala on ECAS or the ELIAS meeting!

Dr. Hartmut Bergenthum


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