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African Studies Resources

Guide to resources and services of the Herskovits Library of African Studies

Collection Highlights

  • Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa - Umar Falke, John Paden, John Hunwick, and University of Ghana Collection
  • Archival and Manuscript Collections - personal papers, photographs, records and microform
  • Audiovisual collection (access restricted to Northwestern users only) - comprises of over 680 recordings which include: The First Festival of the Negro Arts in Dakar, a feature written and presented by John Nagenda (1966); The Mouth that Commits Offence must talk itself out of Punishment, a Yoruba story, read by Segun Olusola, Head of Drama, Nigerian television (1967); David Rubadiri speaking about East African poetry (1972); Mazisi Kunene: Maqolwane, including chanting of Zulu poetry by Kunene; Interviews by Robert Serumaga at the Afro-Asian Conference in Algiers featuring such figures as Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), Mr. Salim (Zanzibar), Mr. Tambo (Tanganyika); etc.  
  • Maps of Africa - digital copies of antique maps of Africa dating from the mid-16th Century to the early 20th Century.
  • Photographs - Winterton, Vernon McKay, Zanzibar, Justine Cordwell, E.H. Duckworth archives, Ifeoma Onyefulu (images from the photographer's publication, A is for Africa (New York : Cobblehill Books, Dutton, 1993; originally published in Great Britain 1993 by Francis Lincoln Ltd., London). Access to several of these collections is restricted to Northwestern users only
  • Posters (digitized) - on politics, health, religion, liberation struggles, art exhibitions, social issues, etc. Note that all posters (Digitized & not-digitized) can be found through a search in the catalog. 

Teach with the Libraries

We encourage faculty to draw upon the Herskovits Library collections to enrich their teaching and promote student learning. We provide expertise, customize instruction to specific needs and course goals, and aim to make students comfortable navigating the library's vast resources, including archival and special collections. Our customized instruction includes activities that facilitate classroom discussion, student-led inquiry, and critical thinking. 

We also promote teaching and learning about Africa across disciplines and grade levels within the greater Chicago area.  

If you would like to schedule an instruction session with your class/group or learn more about Teaching with the Herskovits Collection, email or complete the Northwestern University Libraries Instruction Request form