African Studies Research in UCLA Libraries

African Studies Research in UCLA Libraries

The UCLA Library is ranked in the top ten North American research libraries by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member survey. In addition to its holdings of over ten million physical volumes and thousands of electronic journals and databases, the library provides access to resources beyond its local collections through participation in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and other consortial resource sharing programs, at the regional, national and international levels.

UCLA’s African studies collections are located and accessible throughout its library system. The Arts Library, Music, Law, Biomedical, Management, and Science & Engineering libraries provide Africa-related resources for teaching and research in their subject areas, complementing the more expansive humanities and social sciences holdings in the Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL) and the undergraduate collections in the College (Powell) Library. The UCLA Instructional Media Collections and the Ethnomusicology Archive include recorded African language material, music recordings and text, artist interviews, dance performance videos, and state-of-the-art facilities for viewing and listening. The YRL subscribes to regional and local newspapers and archives from Africa. Off-campus access to selected online resources is available to the UCLA community.

African language resources include digitized manuscripts in Ge’ez and Amharic, as well as learning and reading materials in Oromo, Tigrinya, Arabic, Akan-Twi, Bamana/Bambara, Wolof, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, KiNyarwanda, Somali, Swahili, Chichewa, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans and the Cape Verde and Seychelles creoles. The YRL has recently received a major gift from Gerald and Barbara Weiner including a unique collection of 239 Ethiopic bound manuscripts and scrolls complementing the library’s renowned special collections and general holdings in Ethiopic languages and cultures. Through an innovative library fellowship program, UCLA Library Special Collections offers qualified graduate students a unique and mutually beneficial opportunity to apply their language skills and subject knowledge in processing and describing these collections and creating much needed finding aids, while receiving professional training in archival manuscripts processing.

Over 10,000 full-text theses and dissertations on Africa and related topics are held or licensed online. Hundreds of foreign dissertations are available on interlibrary loan from CRL. YRL’s cartographic resources includes rare historical manuscript and facsimile maps of Africa, hundreds of printed and online maps, atlases and a growing database of digitized Southern African maps from published books.

African photographs and photo slides include Jacques Maquet’s Central African collection, Ralph Bunche’s photographs of Southern and Western Africa from the early to mid-20th century, and the microfilm edition of the Royal Commonwealth Society collection of more than 900 photographs. 

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014