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Michigan State University

African Activist Archive at MSU Libraries: About Africana

A description with links to MSU Libraries holdings of the African Activist Archive

Africana Collection at the MSU Libraries

The Africana Collection of the MSU Library is one of the largest in the United States, having been built up since 1960 to support broad faculty involvement in research and development projects on the continent. In recent decades, the MSU program about Africa has been consistently rated among the top one or two in the country in both the number of faculty involved and the number of doctoral dissertations produced. The Library's commitment to this world area is reflected in the employment of 2 full-time professional Africana librarians, both of them holding doctorates in African Studies, who built one of the top five collections in the country and who provide reference assistance to a wide range of faculty and students at MSU and elsewhere and who are very involved in national cooperative projects.

The Library collection on Africa of roughly 270,000 books, journals, maps, films, archives, microform units and online resources covers all areas and disciplines. Online resources on Africa are one of the best in the country and include cutting-edge digital libraries, full-text journal suites from Africa and MSU digital projects. Across the collections, there is particular emphasis on cultures, economies, history, politics, education, languages, medicine and other fields of the societies of sub-Saharan Africa, with special emphases (reflecting research and teaching interests) on Nigeria, Ethiopia/Eritrea, South Africa, the Sahel region of West Africa, Eastern Africa including Tanzania and Kenya, Malawi and Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Library materials from all African countries (less so for North Africa) are collected at a high level, including materials in all African and other languages and across all historical periods. The Library also has a very strong collection of archival materials on microfilm and there are substantial special and audio-visual collections. Library collection development policy on Africa is outlined in the Collection Development Policy.


Joseph Lauer Africana Librarian (517) 884-0839
Peter Limb Bibliographer
(517) 884-0838


Africana, MSU Libraries
100 Library
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 884-0839 Lauer) or 884-0838 (Limb)
Fax: (517) 432-3532

Michigan State University