Library and Archives
Library and Archives

Africa: Overview

The Africa Collection contains approximately 85,000 volumes of monographs, government publications, and pamphlets. Many older serials are held—both those produced in the metropole, for example, Revue française d'histoire d'outre-mer (Paris, 1913–38, 1945–79) and the Revue indigène (Paris, 1906–14, 1916–32) and those produced in Africa itself, such as Uganda Journal (Kampala, 1934– ) and Tanganyika Notes and Records (Dar Es Salaam, 1936– ).

The library attempts to acquire legislative proceedings from all of sub-Saharan Africa. Hoover has, for example, debates held in Chad (1952–58), the Gold Coast (1928–57), French Equatorial Africa (1947–56), French West Africa (1947–59), Kenya (1907–66), and Zimbabwe (1899– ). Along with having one of the most extensive current African newspaper collections in the United States, the Hoover Library holds valuable runs in print and on microfilm of older titles, including African Times (London, 1862–1902) and Ashanti Pioneer (1939–62). The Hoover Library has holdings of such rare journals as the Zambesi Mission Record (1898–1934), in effect a history of the Catholic church in Zimbabwe; Nouvelles du Zambèze (1898–1934); Revue d'histoire des missions (Paris, 1924, 1926–37); and Tropiques: Revue des troupes coloniales (Paris, 1902–53). Other major scholarly journals held by Hoover include Sudan Notes and Records (1918–74) and the Zambia [Northern Rhodesia] Journal (1951–65).

Political ephemera such as election material, party pamphlets, and trade union and liberation movement literature constitute an important element in the collection. For example, the library has the Immanuel Wallerstein collection of political ephemera and journals from liberation movements of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe as well as its own extensive collection of such materials. The library houses runs of South African Communist Party (SACP) newspapers and numerous pamphlets issued by the SACP as well as microfilm of African opposition movements from 1882 to 1994. Hoover also possesses the papers of Kenya nationalist leader Tom Mboya, as well as of his industrialist friend William X. Scheinman; a collection of documents on East African political leaders (former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, former Ugandan president Milton Obote, and former Ugandan foreign minister Sam Odaka), also from William X. Scheinman; a 1997 ten-volume Belgium Senate report on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; publications of the Umma Party of the Sudan and the Union des Forces Démocratique-Ère Nouvelle, Mauritania's main opposition party; a collection of photographs of the civil war in Angola; a rare copy of Une Colonne dans le Soudan français, by Joseph-Simon Gallieni, a well-known French colonial administrator in West Africa at the end of the nineteenth century; a collection of reports, letters, and other documents of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo concerning political resistance to the government of the Congo; ephemeral publications of the National Union of Eritrean Women; ephemera of the SACP on the 1999 election; campaign materials from the 1997 Liberian election, the nation's first after eight years of civil war; manifestos, leaflets, pamphlets, and posters from the 1996 South African local government elections; the papers of Urbain Joseph Kinet, director of the Uvira, Congo, station of the Belgian research institute Institut pour la Recherche Scientifique en Afrique Centrale; the documents of Félix Éboué, governor-general of French Equatorial Africa from 1940 to 1944; and monographs and documents of Professor Carl Rosberg on the colonial period of Kenya, Rhodesia, and the Gold Coast.

Trade union material includes the William H. Friedland collection on Tanzanian trade unions (1929–67); the Martin Lowenkopf collection on Liberian economic conditions and labor relations; the Jay Lovestone papers, which include letters regarding the African-American Labor Center (1969–74); the African Labor College in Kampala (1959, 1963–65); the Tom Mboya papers (1950–69); letters from John K. Tettegah, a Ghanaian labor leader (early 1960s); letters from G. Mennen Williams (early 1960s, and letters and reports on trade union activities during the late 1950s–1960s in Nigeria, Kenya, Congo Leopoldville, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroun, Tanganyika, Rhodesia, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Gabon, and the Sudan); and the Paul Lubeck papers on the trade union movement in Africa, primarily during the 1960s.

The library attempts to obtain the newsletters and newspapers of important trade unions. Holdings include Advance (Nigerian Trade Union Congress, 1966–76), Éveil du travailleur togolais (Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Togo, 1982– ), FOSATU Worker News (Federation of South African Trade Unions, 1980– ), Labour Mirror (Trade Union Council of South Africa, 1976– ), Mfanyakazi (National Union of Tanganyika Workers, 1968, 1972– ), and Walike (Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs de Guinée, 1975– ).

Coverage for all African states for the period since independence is extensive and includes official publications, newspapers and journals, scholarly series and proceedings of institutes, party and trade union publications, and locally produced books and ephemeral materials. Military and police journals, if available, are acquired for all countries.

As a founding member of the Cooperative Africana Microform Project (CAMP) of the Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, the Hoover Institution has available on interlibrary loan more than 3,000 entries in this collection of rare journals, newspapers, books, pamphlets, government documents, and archival collections on microform. (Many of these are rare, such as the Archives of the Council for World Mission and the Church Missionary Society). A published catalog listing materials in the CAMP collection is available.

During the colonial era, the British created an infrastructure of colonial archives, research institutes, and similar bodies as well as numerous missionary and exploration societies. The work of these government and private organizations was documented in a vast body of publications ranging from legislative proceedings, departmental annual reports, and investigatory commissions to mission society correspondence and reports—on both the metropolitan and the local levels. Anglophone Africa is one of the best documented colonial ventures in world history. The holdings of the Hoover Institution and the university libraries are exceptionally rich in these areas; this section can make only brief and selective references to the material in the Institution's possession.

Government publications fall into two major categories: (1) material produced in Great Britain and (2) local publications centering on specific territories, designed as reference tools, as records of past achievement, or as instruments of reform. On the metropolitan level, for example, a major series is the confidential prints relating to colonial Africa, produced for internal use by the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office in London.

Hoover has the confidential prints relating to Africa (1870–1914) in microfilm. Since the mid-nineteenth century it has been the practice of both the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office to print, for internal circulation, all important letters, dispatches, memoranda, and minutes. The format was identical with the published blue books on foreign and colonial affairs, which were often based on these confidential prints. Memoranda were customarily printed separately and given a separate series; correspondence and minutes were collected under the subject matter headings in chronological order of receipt. All collections are furnished with a contents table. The volumes vary greatly in length but may run to as many as 400 pages or 1,000 documents. The contents are virtually unedited. They are available for study and microfilming within the time limits laid down by the fifty-year rule (i.e., as far as the end of 1951). The uniformity of format and the use of print make them exceptionally suitable for microfilm, and they are, of course, far more convenient than the originals for research and reference. For a time the Colonial Office destroyed the original documents after printing, so that the prints sometimes constitute the only source material.

Another major source is Great Britain's Colonial Office, from which comes East African pamphlets, 14 reels and pamphlets about Africa (1870–1940s), and 24 reels covering West and Central Africa plus Mauritius. An index has been prepared for the West and Central African files. Every colony throughout the British Empire sent each year copies of all publications arising in the colony to London, where they were joined to publications in Great Britain about that colony. In many cases these prints are the only copies left on record.

Equally valuable are the parliamentary papers, or "command papers," produced for the British Parliament on a great variety of topics under debate. Other categories include the Annual Lists of the Colonial and Foreign Offices (with information on personnel) and a variety of reports, all of them well represented at Stanford. Of equal value are the reports of investigatory commissions. Some of these are major works of scholarship in their own right. (For instance, the Report of the Commission Appointed into the Financial and Economic Position of Northern Rhodesia [London, 1938] still stands as a basic economic and administrative history of the period.)

Corresponding material was issued on the local level in the shape of the legislative council debates of individual territories and reports issued by territorial census, archives, agricultural, mining, and other departments. Equally informative were the reports of local commissions of inquiry. (For example, the Evidence Taken by the Commission Appointed to Enquire into the Disturbances of the Copper Belt, Northern Rhodesia [Lusaka, 1938] remains one of the most valuable sources for this particular aspect of labor history in Zambia.)

Government publications are supplemented by a broad range of serials put out by private and semiprivate bodies both in Britain itself and in the various African countries. Hoover is rich in such holdings. These include, among many others, NADA (the journal of the Southern Rhodesia Native Affairs Department, 1923–63) and Rhodes-Livingston Journal (1944–67), produced by a sociological research institute set up in 1937 in what is now Zambia.

Journals produced in Great Britain are even more varied in their provenance and coverage; they range all the way from those published by geographical societies, anthropological societies, and research institutes to private publications issued by specialized societies. There are likewise the multifarious publications of lobbies or of societies such as the Royal Commonwealth Society (originally set up in the 1860s as the Royal Colonial Institute).

Holdings from Francophone Africa include the Annuaire du gouvernement général de l'Afrique Occidentale Française (1867, 1872–1915/16, 1922); the Bulletin administratif du Sénégal (1819–1908); and the Journal officiel for Dahomey (1908, 1918–59, 1963–68), for Guinea (1901–59), and for Senegal (1856–91, 1901–61). This material provides a detailed conspectus of what might be called the French colonizers' "official mind" and of Africa as seen through the rulers' eyes. Material from Senegal is strong, with publications coming from the Institution's long-standing exchange arrangement with the Senegal National Archives.

The library has the Bulletin officiel of the French Ministère des Colonies (later Ministère de la France d'Outre-Mer and Ministère de la Coopération) for 1914–48, with scattered earlier volumes. The series Études sénégalaises (1949–66) and Études éburnéennes (1951–60), published by the Institut Fondamental de l'Afrique Noire (formerly Institut Français d'Afrique Noire), are also held by library. Other valuable serials in the collection include Réveil Dakar (1944–50), the organ of the Fédération d'A.O.F.; Guinée française (Conakry, 1947–52); L'Afrique française (Paris, 1891–1940, 1952–60); La Quinzaine coloniale (Paris, (1897–1914), organ of the Union Coloniale Française; and La Revue indigène (Paris, 1906–14, 1916–32), organ of Intérêts des Indigènes aux Colonies et Pays de Protectorat.

Covering former Belgian Africa are the Bulletin de l'Office Colonial (1910–40), the Bulletin de colonisation comparée (1908–14), and the Bulletin de l'Agence Générale des Colonies (1911–29). Also held are the Bulletin officiel of the former Belgian Congo (1910–59); the Bulletin des séances of the Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer (Brussels, 1930– ); Congo Mission News (Leopoldville, 1912–46); and Congo: Revue générale de la colonie belge (1920–40), which was superseded by Zaïre (Brussels, 1947–61).

Holdings on independent Zaire include Cahiers du CEDAF (Brussels, 1971– ), Cahiers économiques et sociaux (Kinshasa, 1962– ), Mwana Shaba (Lubumbashi, 1964– ), and Problèmes sociaux zaïrois (Lubumbashi, 1946– ).

Library holdings on Lusophone Africa for the period prior to independence include the Studia, issued by the Centro de Estudos Historicos Ultramarinos (Lisbon, 1958–80), Colecção Oficial de Legislação Portuguêsa (1922–58), Moçambique (Lourenço Marques, 1935–57,1959–61), Defesa Nacional of the Ministério da Guerra (Lisbon, 1934–75), and Revista Militar (Lisbon, 1849– ). The Hoover and Green (university) Libraries hold most of the publications of the Agência Geral do Ultramar and the Junta de lnvestigações do Ultramar and its various series: Estudos, ensaios e documentos, and Estudos de Ciências Políticas e Sociais, the Anais (1946–57), and Garcia de Orta (1959–71). Also held are Ultramar: Revista da Comunidade Portuguêsa e da Actualidade Ultramarina Internacional (1961–70); the Boletim Geral do Ultramar (1925– ); the Anuário do Ultramar Português (1935–46); Portugal em Africa (1894–1910, 1944–73), a Catholic monthly; and the Revista Portuguêsa Colonial e Marítima (1897–1910). Other retrospective journals published in Africa include the Boletim cultural de Guiné Portuguêsa (1948–73) and the Boletim of the Instituto de Angola (1953– ).

The library's holdings of publications of the various liberation groups in exile from Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau include Angola Operaria (Kinshasa, 1971–73), which was superseded by Ondinga Upange (Kinshasa, 1974–75); Mozambique Revolution (Dar es Salaam, 1964–75); and PAIGC Actualités (Conakry, 1969–73/74). For independent Lusophone Africa, holdings are extensive and include Jornal de Angola (Luanda, 1976– ); Voz di Povo (Praia, Cape Verde, 1975– ) and its predecessor, Novo Jornal de Cabo Verde (1974–75); No Pintcha (Bissau, 1975–78); Diário de Moçambique (Beira, 1968–71, 1981– ); and Combate (Forcas Armadas, Maputo, 1983– ).

Special collections in the Archives contain files on each liberation movement, such as the MPLA, FRELIMO, and PAIGC. They include Ronald Chilcote's fifteen-reel collection, Emerging Nationalism in Portuguese Africa, which contains publications (political ephemera, journals) of all the Lusophone African nationalist groups as well as relevant U.N. documents; the Immanuel Wallerstein collection of political ephemera of the liberation movements of Lusophone Africa and Anglophone Southern Africa, 1958–75; and the Robert Keith Middlemas collection on Portugal and South Africa, 1966–76, which contains notes and tapes of interviews with British, Portuguese, and South African diplomats, politicians, economic advisers, journalists, and business-people as well as correspondence and writings.

Approximately 1,200 volumes in the library deal with the history and administration of the German colonies and with German attitudes toward colonial questions. Hoover's German colonial collection is one of the strongest outside Germany. The 40 volumes of Die grosse Politik der europäischen Kabinette (1871–1914) are basic sources. Every aspect of German colonization is widely covered in the publications of the Kolonialamt. These include source books and interpretations of laws on subjects such as commerce and banking, agriculture, education, labor, insurance, taxes, income, inheritance, prices, the military, and maritime, constitutional, and electoral law. Holdings of important official publications include Deutsches Kolonialblatt (1890–1921), edited by the Colonial Office, and the Verhandlungen des Reichstags: Stenographische Berichte (1871–1938). These and the accompanying Anlagebände plus the Beilage to the Deutsches Kolonialblatt contain not only all the debates on colonial questions but also numerous documents, committee reports, correspondence, and the official reports of the Colonial Office. Of an unofficial or quasi-public nature are reports of colonial societies such as the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, whose official organ, Deutsche Kolonialzeitung, is available for the years 1884–1922, 1929–32, and 1935–42. Other important titles for German colonial affairs in the early part of the twentieth century are the Zeitschrift für Kolonial-Politik, Kolonialrecht und Kolonialwirtschaft (1899–1911) and the Koloniale Rundschau (1909–27, 1929, 1932, 1937–43), a paper critical of German overseas policy.

Special attention was given to collecting colonial publications for the war years; thus the library has holdings of the Kolonialinstitut of Hamburg's Abhandlungen (1910–21), Mitteilungen (1914–17), and Bericht über das Studienjahr (1910–21). National socialist publications treating the history of the German colonies are also numerous. The Stanford University Library holds journals such as Afrika und Übersee (1910– ) and Zeitschrift für Volkskunde (1891–1940).

Important archival materials on former German Africa filmed from the Deutsches Zentralarchiv in Potsdam include the minutes and correspondence of the Deutsche Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft (Berlin) board of directors (1885–98); official documents of German Southwest Africa (1914–15); selected files of the Reichskolonialamt (1884–94, 1907–19); and minutes, protocols, and reports of the Kolonialrat (1890–1906)—all on microfilm.

Other noteworthy holdings include Charles Cecil Ferquharson Dundas's report on German administration in East Africa (1919); the diary of Franz Köhl (1913–14), which describes the situation in German East Africa and the Belgian Congo; the Karl Peters papers, 1881–1903; and Die Deutschen Kolonien (1938), a collection of photographs and maps of former German African colonies from the Reichkolonialbund. Contemporary journals dealing with Africa include Afrika (Bonn, 1963– ), Afrika heute (Bonn, 1961–75), and Afrikaspectrum (Hamburg, 1967– ).

Journals, Newspapers, and Monograph Series

The library holds a wide selection of titles. Examples are early serials, in print and on microfilm: The African Times (London, 1862–1902), Ashanti Pioneer (Kumasi, 1939–62), Gold Coast Leader (Accra, 1901–29), L'Afrique française/ Renseignements coloniaux (Paris, 1891–1940, 1952–60), Les Échos d'Afrique noire (Dakar, 1952–58, incomplete), Guinée française (Conakry, 1947–52), La Quinzaine coloniale (Union Coloniale Française, Paris, 1897–1914), Réveil (Fédération d'A.O.F., Dakar, 1944–50), La Revue indigène (organ of Intérêts des Indigènes aux Colonies et Pays de Protectorat, Paris, 1906–14, 1916–32).

Holdings of IFAN, Institut Fondamental de l'Afrique Noire (formerly the Institut Français d'Afrique Noire), are divided between the Stanford University Library and Hoover with Hoover holding the series Études camerounaises (1935–37, 1943–58), Études dahoméennes (1948–58, 1963–64), Études éburnéennes (1951–60), Études sénégalaises (1949–66), Études voltaïques (1960–64), and Recherches africaines/Études guinéennes (1947–55, 1959–64, print and microfilm).

Newsletters of political movements include PAIGC of Guinea-Bissau's PAIGC Actualités (Conakry, 1969–73/74), and the UPC's La Voix du Cameroun/The Voice of Kamerun, (1958, 1960, 1962, and 1980–91, though files are not complete).

Archival Collections

The Hoover Archives contains more than 200 Africa-related collections. Archives collections may contain a variety of formats, including manuscripts, leaflets, articles, and pamphlets. (There is also a pamphlet collection in the library.) The separate poster collection, which includes election posters, covers all countries but is strongest for South Africa.

Archival collections covering more than one country and/or region include the L. Gray Cowan papers; the Ernest W. Lefever papers on African politics; the Arthur J. Lewis papers on African education and the American Council on Education, 1960–84; the Marvin Liebman papers on U.S. conservative and anti-communist organizations and Africa; the Arthur B. McCaw papers on U.S. assistance in Africa in the 1960s; the Frank J. Moore papers on development in Africa, especially in regard to education; the S. Daniel Neumark miscellaneous papers on economic development in Africa in the 1950s; publications from the sixth Pan-African Congress in Tanzania (1974); and the J. Matt Seymour collection on education and development, 1960–81.

Archival materials dealing with African labor include the Paul Lubeck papers on trade unionism in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, but also for Cameroon, Congo, Algeria, Dahomey, Liberia, Ethiopia, Libya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uganda; the William H. Friedland collection on Tanzania, 1929–67, with materials on the Tanganyika Federation of Labor, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, African Labour College materials, interviews with union members and reports on union meetings (dock, railway, plantation, postal, sisal, and government workers); and the Jay Lovestone papers, with material on the African-American Labor Center (1969–74), the African Labor College in Kampala (1959, 1963–65), letters from Tom Mboya, leader of the labor movement in Kenya (late 1950s–1960s), Mboya papers from John K. Tettegah, Ghanaian labor leader (early 1960s), and letters and reports on union activities of the late 1950s to 1960s in Nigeria, Kenya, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Leopoldville, Cameroon, Tanganyika, Rhodesia, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Gabon and Sudan.

The United States' links with Africa have been close, not only because of the slave trade but also because Americans (as whalers and shippers, traders and merchants, explorers and missionaries, frontiersmen and soldiers, tobacco experts and mining engineers, government officials and Peace Corps volunteers) played a significant role in the history of the continent. Because of the extent of American commercial, missionary, philanthropic, scientific, and governmental contacts with Africa since the seventeenth century, resources are numerous. Holdings of papers and records of Americans serving and working in Africa include the following:

  • African Squadron, 1843–61, letters received by the secretary of the navy from commanding officers of squadrons. The originals are in the National Archives.
  • Thomas Jefferson Bowen papers, 1 reel. Reverend Bowen served in Nigeria from 1849 to 1856 as missionary, explorer, and linguist.
  • R. Dorsey Mohun papers, 1892–1913, 3 reels. Mohun was U.S. commercial agent, Boma, Congo Free State, 1892–95; U.S. consul, Zanzibar 1895–97; and agent of the Rubber Exploration Company of New York in South Africa.
  • Henry Shelton Sanford papers, 12 boxes of microfilmed material, separated into accounts, correspondence, legal documents, and memoranda, arranged chronologically. Sanford served as minister to Belgium, 1861–69, as representative of the American Geographical Society at the African International Conference, 1876, and as a representative of the United States at the Berlin Conference, 1884, and at the Anti-Slavery Conference in Brussels, 1890. He served on the executive committee of the International Association that sent Henry Morton Stanley to the Congo, and he helped the International Association of the Congo (later known as the Congo Free State) secure diplomatic recognition from the United States and European powers. The original material is at the Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford, Florida.
  • International Association of the Congo letters and documents as collected by Lievin Van de Velde, Vivi Station, Congo, 1882–83, 1 reel. Lt. Van de Velde accompanied Stanley to the Congo (Zaire). Included are letters of Henry Morton Stanley.
  • United States Department of State dispatches from U.S. consuls/ministers to/in Liberia, 1863–1906 (14 reels); Lourenço Marques, 1854–1906 (6 reels); Tamatave, Madagascar, 1853–1906 (11 reels); and Zanzibar, 1836–1906 (11 reels). Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of British Africa, 1910–29 (33 reels); Liberia, 1910–29 (34 reels).
  • United States Navy Department letters received by the secretary of the navy from commanding officers of the squadrons, U.S. Navy, Africa Squadron, 1843–61 (11 reels).
  • Marshall Bond diary, 1927, 2 vols. Description of Bond's trip from Cairo to Cape Town; addendum on "African women" by Margaret Davidson.
  • Frederick R. Burnham papers, 1876–1964, 7 ms. boxes. Burnham was an explorer and a major in the British Army during the Boer War. Correspondence, writings, photographs, and other material, relating to the Southern Rhodesia Matabele wars of 1893 and 1896, the Boer War, and exploration in Africa.
  • Robert F. Corrigan papers, 1958–75, 1 folder. Corrigan was ambassador to Rwanda, 1972–73. Includes reports, clippings on the visit of President Sékou Touré to the United States in 1959 and U.S. investment in Africa.
  • David W. King papers, 1/2 ms. box. King was a consular official in Ethiopia in 1926 and served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, covering North Africa.
  • William D. Moreland Jr. papers, 1949–65, 6 ms. boxes. Moreland was U.S. consul, Dakar, 1949–51. Includes correspondence, reports, photographs on political, economic, and social conditions in West Africa.
  • Robert W. Shufeldt papers, 22 boxes of material on microfilm. The originals are in the Naval Historical Foundation Collection on deposit in the Library of Congress. Shufeldt, U.S. naval officer, 1864–84, sailed to Africa and Asia in 1878 under instructions to extend American influence along the coasts of these continents and among the islands of the Indian Ocean, to investigate changes in Zanzibar and their effect on the United States, and to determine if improvements could be made in the 1867 treaty with Madagascar.
  • Eddie Smith diary extracts. Manuscript of Mr. Smith's diary while serving in the Peace Corps in Ghana, 1963–64.