82 · Representative Documents: Collection Management Strategies
African Studies Collection Description
African Studies Collection Description
http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=1000416[10/1/13 4:09:00 PM]
Materials in Amharic are not a focus since Michigan State University maintains a comprehensive collection. Vernacular texts and
linguistic materials will be collected selectively in other languages and in creole languages.
The continent of Africa (except Egypt which is covered by the Librarian for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and subject
bibliographers) and the Indian Ocean and Atlantic islands are covered.
Historically, primary emphasis has been on Sub-Saharan Africa, although recently emphasis has also been placed on materials in
English and French from or about North Africa. Research-level collections including rare books, local imprints, major journals, political
pamphlets and other ephemera, government publications, archival and manuscript materials on microform, audiovisual, and electronic
materials in addition to commercial and scholarly publications are acquired for Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and
Hispanophone Africa.
Historically, the major focus has been on West and West Central Africa. Publications from Benin and Gambia were emphasized given
Indiana University's responsibility for the Small Country Project of the Africana Librarians Council. Somalia is given emphasis since
Indiana University is a depository of the International Somali Studies Association. Southern Africa has been a more recent focus of the
collection. Because of the large volume of material published in South Africa, it is not possible to collect in great depth. Yale and
Northwestern Universities collect comprehensively on South Africa. The current focus is on countries with which Indiana University has
exchange programs and/or countries which are the focus of faculty and graduate student research: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi,
Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Other countries for which there is special emphasis are: Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire,
Guinea, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, and Somalia.
For the Indian Ocean and Atlantic islands, teaching-level collections are acquired in all disciplines except for folklore and literature, for
which research-level collections are acquired.
Government Publications
Due to financial constraints and inadequate staffing, there is less focus on government publications than is ideal for a research-level
An attempt is made to acquire census reports, development plans, yearbooks, and other compendia of general or statistical
information, and the government handbooks, constitutions, and guides to archives and publications for all Sub-Saharan African states.
Materials that support research in economics, development, political science, government, and history are acquired as funding
permits. Historically, priority for developing more in-depth collections has been given to Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal,
Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Gambia, and Benin, although collections for these countries have been
uneven over time. Current emphasis on building more in-depth collections is on the same countries listed under geographic coverage
above. Few materials on the arts are published by African governments. Those which are acquired are shelved in the Fine Arts
In consultation with the International Documents Librarian, the publications of intergovernmental African organizations such as the
African Development Bank, ECOWAS, OAU, and UN Economic Commission for Africa are acquired. Since Indiana University has
standing orders for publications of major international organizations such as the UN, UNESCO, and the World Bank, and is a US
government depository, the Librarian for African Studies does not have to acquire publications on Africa from these organizations.
Historically, some intergovernmental African organization publications, such as those for ECOWAS, have been shelved in the
Research Collection. The publications of all new African intergovernmental organizations, such as SACDD, SADC, and PTA, which
are purchased on African Studies funds, are shelved in the Research Collection.
The Librarian for African Studies makes recommendations to the Foreign Documents Librarian for publications about Africa from West
European governments.
Official gazettes are not acquired because the ARL Foreign Official Gazette Project makes them available through microfilming at the
New York Public Library and Library of Congress.
Maps and Atlases
An attempt is made to acquire maps and atlases produced by African governments and travel maps that can be used for planning
fieldwork. Maps are acquired for the Geography &Map collection. National atlases are acquired for the Main Library Research
Subscriptions are held for approximately twenty African newspapers from the major regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Priority is given to
newspapers for which Indiana University Library has national collection responsibility and which are used for research and read
regularly by persons affiliated with the African Studies Program. A list of other African newspapers which have online open access is
provided on the African Studies website.
Subscriptions are held for serials of research value for all disciplines for which materials are collected in-depth, including
publications from Africa and those issued by scholarly organizations and trade publishers outside Africa. Because of Serials
Department policies regarding irregularly and infrequently published serials, the Librarian for African Studies also must acquire serials
from vendors and on exchange which are not on subscription in the Serials Department (e.g., African telephone books). The African
Studies curriculum, research interests of faculty, collection responsibilities for CAMP (Cooperative Africana Microform Project), and
cooperative programs for the Africana Librarians Council, ARL, and CIC will be taken into consideration in placing other subscriptions.
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