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  • Librarian: Marion Frank-Wilson
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E660
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Libraries & Subjects
last updated: 3/10/2010

Title VI Librarians Report 2004

Report of Title VI Librarians of the Africana Librarians Council of the African Studies Association


Indiana University  Marion Frank-Wilson, Coordinator 
Michigan State University Joe Lauer
Peter Limb
Northwestern University 
(not a Title VI center, but contributes $1500
annually to cooperative projects)
David Easterbrook
Ohio University  Loyd Mbabu 
UCLA  Ruby Bell-Gam
Miki Goral 
University of Florida   Peter Malanchuk
Dan Reboussin 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   Al Kagan 
University of Pennsylvania for the
Philadelphia African Studies Consortium 
Lauris Olson 
University of Wisconsin   David Henige
Emilie Ngo-Nguidjol 
Yale University  Dorothy Woodson 

The work of the Africana Librarians Council (ALC) is described in "Opportunities and Challenges in Africana Library Service: A Framework for Cooperation and Development", compiled by Gretchen Walsh (Boston University). The document generally describes activities and challenges related to maintaining and developing Africana collections. It can be found at:

Please refer to this website for information about the work of the Title VI librarians group (agendas and minutes of meetings, project reports, etc.).

This report more specifically focuses on cooperative activities of the Title VI librarians among the ALC during the current Title VI cycle. It includes:

- Up-date on the microfilming project of the Senegal National Archives
- Update on the creation of electronic union list of African newspaper holdings in U.S. libraries (AFRINUL)
- Acquisition of dissertations
- Update on compilation of international union list of Africana microform collections
- Other local Title VI related activities by librarians at their institutions
- Exploring new cooperative projects

As always, we welcome comments on any of these projects, suggestions for future projects, or other concerns.

Microfilming of the Senegal National Archives: an Update for 2000-2004

As follow-up to the successful cooperation in filming "Justice Indig'ne", CAMP and the Title VI libraries (with Northwestern University) have embarked on a second phase of cooperation with the National Archives to film "Affaires politiques et administratives de Senegal, serie D". "Serie D" is a major collection on the history of Senegal and early French colonial rule in West Africa. This material is complementary to "Justice Indig'ne", though it is much larger in scope and size. It is located in the National Archives of Senegal, most of which is not held at le Centre des archives d'outre-mer (Aix-en-Provence, France) or in any other location.

For more details, see

Recently the Center received 171 reels of material from the archives relating to general governance of colonial Senegal. "Sous-serie 10D" contains information on the central administration of the colony. Originating from the office of the Governor and other central departments (including Director of Political Affairs, Director of the Interior, Attorney General, Controller, and Commander of the Military), this material contains valuable historical documentation including a large body of correspondence between the Governor, his ministries, and the Governor-General.

The series contains the following subsets of material:

- 10D1: Affaires politiques et administratives
- Generalites
- Reclamations et plaintes
- Traites et conventions
- 10D2: Consulats
- 10D3: Correspondance
- 10D4: Notes et rapports
- 10D5: Notices et monographies
- 10D6: Tournees, voyages et missions

For bibliographic citation, view the entry in the CRL online catalog at:

African Newspaper Union List (AFRINUL)

This project sponsored by the AAU/ARL Global Resources Project has continued its efforts to develop an on-line distributed input mechanism for records being submitted to the union list. A searchable database has been completed and features records from CAMP/CRL as well as information about African newspapers currently received by American libraries.

Participants of the project have been gathering information on their own collections, but a low-barrier approach to entering information into the collaborative database was slow in developing. A major step forward occurred this summer when the AFRINUL administrative tool became ready for testing. In August, testing with a limited number of titles from Northwestern University's extensive newspaper holdings of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies took place. Results of the first phase of testing have been reported and revisions and enhancements of the administrative tool are underway. Once the administrative tool is completed, member institutions will be invited to submit their holdings.

The administrative tool allows authorized participants to add, edit, and remove bibliographic and holdings information relating to their local collections. Utilizing a simple, Web-based interface users can input a conglomeration of information (standard bibliographic fields, contextual information, combined holdings of print, microform, or electronic issues) into an aggregated record. The information is immediately posted to the public search interface of AFRINUL, located at:

From the beginning, AFRINUL has been based at the Center for Research Libraries and the Center's Director of International Resources, James Simon, has kept AFRINUL moving forward. Limited funding of the project at the outset required participants to rely on voluntary staff time to complete the project, a fact that has caused delay in its final implementation. However, the commitment of the Title VI National Resource Centers for African Studies have since agreed to provide some funding to cooperative projects such as AFRINUL.

Acquisition of dissertations

The problems and difficulties in acquiring African dissertations are a concern of all ALC members, including Title VI librarians. Together with other ALC librarians they have met with Mary Materu-Behitsa, DATAD Program Coordinator, to give input on the creation of this database. Currently, DATAD is available on a subscription basis, and UCLA and U. Penn have subscribed to it. However, at this point, the database does not provide full-text access to dissertations. Title VI librarians are aware of the need to collaborate with African colleagues and organizations/projects (e.g., SABINET, KwetuNet) to make African dissertations and information about them available more widely. An effort in this respect is Karen Fung's (Africana librarian at Stanford University) website, which lists sources for obtaining dissertations and theses on Africa-related topics.

A link (currently under construction) to dissertations has also been added to the Title VI librarians website

Dissertations received:

The U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received 16 theses from Mozambique.

Michigan State University has acquired several dissertations from Kenya and South Africa.

Update on Compilation of International Union List of Africana Microform Collections

This project is coordinated by James Simon at CRL. He sent to participating institutions lists of their holdings within the database, and many have responded with additions or corrections. He has begun to modify the entries, and should have a reasonably final product by the spring.

Local Title VI related activities by librarians at their institutions

MSU African Studies Center, MSU Press and MSU Library completed the next phase of the African e-Journals Project, a cooperative project with African publishers. Two African journals continue to publish their current issues with Project Muse, but after Muse withdrew from new engagements, a wide-ranging project of digitizing back issues of ten selected major African journals was effected. Digitization of these journals was completed in September 2004 and work is continuing on indexing and quality control. The journals will be available in open access to all scholars in Africa and the wider world. The project is coordinated by MSU's Africana librarian Peter Limb.

MSU African Studies Center, in partnership with the MSU Library, made substantial progress with the African Activist Archive Project (, which aims to preserve the record of activities of U.S. organization and individuals that supported African sruggles for freedom and impacted U.S. policy on Africa in the period 1950-94. The project includes a Directory of African Activist Archives to list all collections of individuals and organizations. Some individuals are depositing records of their organization and these are being deposited in the MSU Library.

Dorothy Woodson, Africana curator/Yale University Libraries and the Yale Council on African Studies (which operates exclusively on Title VI money) hosted the Africana Librarians Council spring meeting 2003.

Yale Council on African Studies and Yale University Libraries co-sponsored a trip by Dorothy Woodson to Nyeri and Karatina, Kenya, to acquire copies of the papers and publications of the late Kenyan writer, publisher and Gikuyu dissident, Gakaara wa Wanjau.

Yale Council on African Studies provided some funds to help the library hire assistants to catalog a backlog of materials in Hausa, Fulani, and Yoruba.

Indiana University completed the Nuer Field Notes Project (, which was funded with Title VI and library funds, in 2003. The project was developed by Marion Frank-Wilson (African Studies librarian at IU) and Edward Miner (postdoctoral Mellon Fellow at IU 2001/02, now International Studies bibliographer at U. of Iowa) in collaboration with IU's Digital Library Program.

IU is in the process of creating a "Digital Somali Library". This project is a collaboration between IU's African Studies Collection/librarian, the Digital Library Program, and the African Studies Program, which is contributing Title VI funds.

In June 2004, IU's African Studies Program conducted a week-long workshop for Indiana teachers. Frank-Wilson conducted a session on Africana library resources for teachers.

Exploring New Cooperative Projects

1. Liberia Presidential Archives

At the spring 2003 ALC/Title VI librarians meeting, Frank-Wilson reported on an extensive collection of Liberian materials which were received as a gift by Indiana University. The processing of these materials will include microfilming, digitizing, etc., and outside funding will be necessary. Both CAMP and the Title VI group were interested in potentially cooperating on this project and suggested to invite the project coordinator, Dr. Verlon Stone, for a presentation at the fall 2003 meeting. Subsequently, he submitted a proposal for funding for himself and Dr. Elwood Dunn for an exploratory trip to Liberia in the summer of 2004 to assess the status of presidential archives (presidential archives, Liberian National Archives, Personal Papers of President William V. S. Tubman, Personal Papers of Bishop George Daniel Browne, et al.) in Liberia, and their potential needs for preservation filming. The Title VI group contributed $2500 to this trip. There will be a report about the trip at the fall 2004 meeting in New Orleans.

2. Arquivo Historico de Mocambique

At the joint CAMP/Title VI librarians meeting at ASA in Boston (2003), Joel Tembe, Director of the Arquivo Historico de Mocambique, and Sheri Young, independent scholar, reported on the historical archives in Mozambique as a potential project for CAMP and the Title VI librarians group to consider. This followed an earlier report by Sheri Young on the same topic. In the meantime, a list of priorities has been received from Joel Tembe through Ned Alpers. The list is a useful development and CAMP is now waiting for an itemized list of equipment costs for the for the first phase of the project. Bell-Gam (Chair of CAMP) hopes to receive this list soon and will forward it to CAMP and the Title VI group to discuss before the fall meeting in New Orleans.

The group of Title VI librarians meets twice a year at the spring and fall meetings of the Africana Librarians Council. The draft agenda for the 2004 fall meeting in New Orleans is on the Title VI librarians website at:

last updated: 3/10/2010