Michigan State University

African Studies Collection Development Policy

Analysis of the Subject Field

Geographic guidelines: Resources are acquired about all African countries and outlying areas. Geographic emphases reflect MSU faculty and research interests, as discussed in section I above. Areas of special strength [in comparison to other Africana collections] include: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Eastern Nigeria, Senegal and the Sahel region of West Africa, but extensive collections are also held on most other countries, including for example Nigeria as a whole, Ghana, South Africa, etc. De-emphasized areas are North Africa and Egypt, and Indian Ocean islands are covered less comprehensively than the mainland.

Disciplinary guidelines: Emphasis is on the social sciences, including history. Special strengths: unpublished literature in agricultural economics and development. Microforms of historical materials from colonial repositories and other archival sources. Collections in some literatures, and in art and music are not as strong. Collecting on African cinema studies (films and books) has increased in recent years.

Chronological guidelines: None, except works on the Greco-Roman period of Mediterranean Africa are left to Classics selectors.

Languages of resources collected: All relevant languages are collected. English language materials are collected at a research level, with most current North American and British books acquired through trade and university approval plans with appropriate profiles or firm orders, and French materials to a high, but slightly lower level, except that French-language materials about North Africa focus more on primary works and important monographs on history or development. Portuguese resources are required at a moderate level for the Lusophone countries, especially where some MSU faculty and graduate students are working. Arabic-language materials are not routinely collected except for works from the Sudan and Mauritania. Materials in German and Italian are more sparingly acquired, usually limited to monographs based on field research, and especially on countries of historic involvement by Germany or Italy, for example, Italian on Ethiopian studies, or German on Togo, Namibia, Cameroon, Tanzania. Occasional scholarly titles in other European languages such as Russian are acquired. African language materials are routinely acquired on approval or blanket plans, supplemented by special arrangements for materials from some countries, such as Ethiopia, Eritrea and Zimbabwe. Major collections in Amharic, Shona, Ndebele, Swahili, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, and Zulu.

Michigan State University