Information Services

African Studies

Some useful resources for African Studies are listed below.

African Newspapers, Series 1

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This ground breaking online collection provides more than 60 searchable African newspapers published in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Featuring both English and a range of foreign-language titles this database offers unparalleled coverage of the issues and events that shaped the continent and its peoples between 1800 and 1922.

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African Writers Series

Access information: Available on and off-campus.

The African Writers Series is the electronic edition of the historic African Writers Series published by Heinemann Educational between 1962 and 2003. The online edition includes over 250 volumes of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose over these four decades by such authors as Nelson Mandela, Chinua Achebe, Tayeb Salih, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, and Buchi Emecheta.

The database is fully searchable at the full-text level and is also integrated within Literature Online (see separate entry in this Databases A-Z list).

Coverage: 1962-present

Access Information: Access on campus or off campus via VPN.
Description: allAfrica's news and information archive is a distinctive large and growing collection containing over 3.6 million articles and documents. AllAfrica collects and aggregates articles from African news organizations, as well as documents and releases from several hundred governmental, nongovernmental and international institutions.
Coverage: 1996 - present


Anthropology Plus

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Brings together into one resource the highly respected Anthropological Literature from Harvard University and Anthropological Index, Royal Anthropological Institute from the UK. It provides extensive worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries. It offers excellent coverage of all core periodicals in the field in addition to local and lesser-known journals. Anthropology Plus contains bibliographic records only.
Coverage: Late 19th century to the present.



Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Anthrosource is a portal to full text anthropological resources. Search Anthropological Association (AAA) publications , plus a complete electronic archive of all AAA journals to the present.


Archives Unbound

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Archives Unbound presents topically-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars and students at the college and university level. Collections in Archives Unbound cover a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to twentieth-century political history. Collections are chosen for Archives Unbound based on requests from scholars, archivists, and students.

There are currently 382 collections in Archives Unbound, covering a large range of subject areas, and new collections are added every year. To see a full list of all the collections and what they cover click on the Collections box and you can either view as alphabetical list or browse by category. Alternatively, click here.


ATLA Religion Database with ATLA Serials

Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: Covers all aspects of religion. ATLA Serials include full text access to over 330 journals. Citation information will indicate where full text is available.
Coverage: Religion Index I: Periodicals 1949 to date, Religion Index II, Multi-author works 1960 to date, Index to Book Reviews in Religion 1949 to date, Research in Ministry 1981 to date.  More coverage info available from

Black Drama Third Edition

Access information: Access on and off campus. The Library's subscription to this resource expires 31 July 2024.
Description: Black Drama, now in its third edition, contains the full text of more than 1,700 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Many of the works are rare, hard to find, or out of print. James Vernon Hatch, the playwright, historian, and curator of the landmark Hatch-Billops Collection, is the project’s editorial advisor. More than 40 percent of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays by writers such as Langston Hughes, Ed Bullins, Willis Richardson, Amiri Baraka, Randolph Edmonds, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.


BLDS (British Library for Development Studies)

Access information: Free access on and off-campus from BLDS.
Description: Depository library at The Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, for publications from international organisations (including the UN system and World Bank) with a strong collection from developing countries.
Coverage: Contains over 150,000 records of documents on economic and social development including serial titles held and monographs acquired since 1987 Journal articles selectively indexed since 1990.


Church Missionary Society Periodicals Module 1: Global Missions and Contemporary Encounters, 1804-2009

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From its roots as an Anglican evangelical movement driven by lay persons, this resource encompasses publications from the CMS and the latterly integrated South American Missionary Society. Documenting missionary work from the 19th to the 21st century, the periodicals include news, journals and reports offering a unique perspective on global history and cultural encounter. 


Church Missionary Society Periodicals Module 2: Medical Journals, Asian Missions and the Historical Record

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The focus of this second module is on the publications of CMS medical mission auxiliaries, the work of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society among women in Asia and the Middle East, newsletters from native churches and student missions in China and Japan, and 'home' material including periodicals aimed specifically at women and children subscribers. Articles, often in the form of letters authored by missionaries abroad, are enhanced by detailed illustrations and photographs of their surroundings, the mission community and the people among whom they worked.


Colonial Law in Africa, 1946 -1966

Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: This database provides access to the African Government Gazettes from 1946-1966. These gazettes contain copies of the laws and ordinances which were introduced in the years they cover. Each item was originally published as the Government Gazette for a colony and year. Their contents include tenders of property, probate records and insolvency notices. The papers in this database cover the Mau Mau uprising, the creation of the first legislative councils and legal changes to transfer power to those councils.


CIAO - Columbia International Affairs Online

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: A source for theory and research in international affairs containing a wide range of scholarship on that includes working papers from university conferences. Each section of CIAO is regularly updated with new material.
Coverage: From 1991.


East African Newspapers Collection

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The East African Newspapers collection provides insight into this region during the 20th and early 21st centuries, a time of great change for Africa. In East Africa, this time witnessed the growth of decolonization as independence movements swelled, and local, autonomous self-governance took hold throughout the region. This period was also punctuated by famine, drought, political uprisings, border disputes, and war as countries worked to navigate the post-colonial landscape. The collection includes 3 key newspapers: Daily Nation (Kenya), The Ethiopian Herald, and The Monitor (Uganda).


Access information: Access on and off-campus.
Description: Collection of 60,000 images of original manuscripts and printed material with accompanying thematic essays. The content comes from library and archive collections worldwide, and can used to support teaching and learning. Full details of how to incorporate images into course materials are provided.
Coverage: 1492-1962.


Ethnologue : Languages of the World

Access Access on campus. For off-campus access, please use the University VPN - Access to the University network via the VPN.
Description An authoritative resource that brings together more data than any other resource of its kind, Ethnologue contains the profiles of the current 7,099 living languages of the world.  Regularly updated, Ethnologue provides in depth information covering the number of speakers of languages, location, dialects, usage statistics, linguistic affiliations and autonyms. In addition to living languages, Ethnologue also contains data on languages which have gone out of use since the first appearance of the publication 66 years ago.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: FBIS Daily Reports, 1974-1996 consist of translated broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals and government statements from nations around the globe. These media sources were monitored in their languages of origin, translated into English and issued by an agency of the US government.

Africa, 1987-1996

Eastern Europe, 1974-1996

The Middle East and North Africa, 1974-1987

Near East and South Asia, 1987-1996

South Asia, 1980-1987

Sub-Saharan Africa, 1974-1980


Global Health (CABI)

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Description: Covers human health and disease, including communicable diseases, tropical diseases, parasitic diseases and parasitology, nutrition, community and public health, and medicinal and poisonous plants, from more than 16,000 journals as well as books and grey literature (dissertations, conferences, patents, standards, annual reports, etc.) from more than 130 countries.
Coverage: 1910 to present.


Access information: Access free.
Description: The Global Index Medicus (GIM) provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low- and middle- income countries. The main objective is to increase the visibility and usability of this important set of resources. The material is collated and aggregated by WHO Regional Office Libraries on a central search platform allowing retrieval of bibliographical and full text information. On June, 2015, the initiative formely called Global Health Library, adopted the name of Global Index Medicus. GIM is promoted and led by WHO as part of its strategy of knowledge management in global public health.


Global Missions and Theology

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: This collection documents a broad range of nineteenth century missionary activities, practices and thought by reproducing personal narratives, organizational records, and biographies. While focusing on the United States the collection also highlights activities in Africa, Fiji and Sandwich Islands, India, China, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Hawaii.
  Images are taken from microfilm originals of early printed works.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: A comprehensive archive of the European literature on all aspects of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
Coverage: From 1906 to current. Over 5000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews.  Journals and books are indexed down to the article and chapter level.  Updated monthly.


Access information: Access on and off-campus. Select International Medieval Bibliography on the Brepolis Login Portal page.
Description: Covers articles published in journals and in miscellany volumes. All subjects relating to the Middle Ages are included, within the date range 300-1500 AD. Geographical areas covered are Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Full-text journal archive service providing access to complete back runs of all the scholarly journals currently available in JSTOR. Recent volumes are excluded, usually the last 3-5 years, but each year a further year is added to the archive. Each title is listed in DiscoverEd. About 4-5% of Artstor images migrated into Jstor are not accessible outside the United States.

The collections currently available are:

  • Arts & Sciences 1-15
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business I-IV Collection
  • Business & Economics
  • Ecology & Botany II
  • Global Plants
  • Health & General Sciences
  • Hebrew Journals
  • Ireland
  • Jewish Studies Collection
  • JSTOR Essential Collection
  • Language & Literature
  • Lives of Literature
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Music
  • Religion and Theology
  • Security Studies
  • Sustainability
  • World Heritage Sites: Africa

The 19th Century British Pamphlets Collections is also available via JSTOR.  Userguides to the various collections can be found at


Access information. Available on or off campus.
Description. JUTA Law is one of the leading publishers of legal content from Africa, an extremely important resource for comparative study. Content in Jutastat includes: South African Law Reports from 1947 to date and South African case law from 1838, South African Statutes, Zimbabwe Law Reports, Statutes of Zimbabwe, Tanzania Law Reports, Statutes of Tanzania, Zambia Law Reports, Statutes of Zambia, Namibia Law Reports, Statutes of Namibia, as well as Juta’s online journal content: Acta Juridica, Annual Survey of SA Law, South African Law Journal, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, South African Mercantile Law Journal, Stellenbosch Law Review, Tydskrif vir die Suid Afrikaanse Reg / Journal of South African Law.  Subject coverage includes administrative, civil procedure, commercial, constitutional, criminal, intellectual property, international, labour, mining, revenue and shipping law.


Kenya Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1907-1964

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: The colony of Kenya was managed by the government departments who wrote these A1:F79 reports. They start when Kenya was a part of the East Africa Colony and continue until independence. The statistics for Kenya are included in Colonial Africa in official statistics, 1821-1953. These reports explain why those statistics are at the levels recorded. The contents pages at the front of each report list the departments which existed at that time. Comparing the contents pages reveals how the structure of the colonial government changed over time.


Malawi Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1907-1967

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: This collection contains annual reports compiled by the British colonial government of Nyasaland (modern day Malawi). The documents cover the period from the dissolution of the Central African Protectorate in 1907 to Malawi’s declaration of independence and beyond. The Annual Departmental Reports provide a unique insight into the colonial administration’s evolving attitude towards native power structures. For convenience, the documents are divided into nine sections. These are Administration, Finance, Judicial and Police, Natural Resources (1), Natural Resources (2), Social Services, Transport and Public Works, Communication and Post Office Savings, and Miscellaneous.


Access information: On campus or off campus.
Description: Missionary Studies is a global resource for the study of missionary work, educational work, medical work, evangelism, political conflict, and the emergence of indigenous churches. Formed from archival collections relating to Africa, East and South Asia, Australasia and the Pacific, and the Americas, it includes records of female missionaries and women’s missionary organisations.


Access Information: Open access
Description: The database provides transcriptions of Olive Schreiner’s more than 4800 extant letters located in archives across Europe, the US and South Africa, with detailed editorial notes and background information, thanks to the Olive Schreiner Letters Project ( The letters are fully searchable with free text or with the Boolean search method. Transcriptions include every insertion and deletion as well as the main text. Guides to the archival locations of all her letters are also available.


Access information: Available on and off campus

Developed cooperatively with scholars worldwide, Oxford Bibliographies offers exclusive, authoritative research guides. Combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia, this cutting-edge resource guides researchers to the best available scholarship across a wide variety of subjects.

Each subject area has an Editor in Chief, Editorial Board, and team of peer reviewers overseeing the development and updating of articles ensuring balanced perspective with scholarly accuracy and a robust updating program to keep researchers informed of advances in their field.

At the time of launch, each subject area includes approximately 50 articles; with an additional 50 to 75 articles added each year. New article topics are selected to ensure each subject area offers full and balanced coverage as determined by the Editor in Chief and Editorial Board, scholarly feedback, and research demand.

Coverage: The following modules are available to the University of Edinburgh - African American Studies, African Studies, American Literature, Anthropology, Biblical Studies, British and Irish Literature, Buddhism, Chinese Studies, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, Criminology, Education, Hindu Studies, International Law, International Relations, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American, Linguistics, Literary and Critical Theory, Medieval Studies,  Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Renaissance & Reformation, Social Work, Sociology, Victorian Literature.  See for individual module title lists.


Access information: Access on and off campus.

Practical Action is a specialist peer-reviewed and evidence-based online book and journal collection for International Development policy, practice and research professionals. The collection reflects the learning of multiple agencies and development professionals across a variety of specialist subject areas.

Note: Green indicators show which content we have access to.

Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) – by Wiley Digital Archives

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The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) digital archive contains more than 150,000 maps, charts and atlases complemented by manuscripts, field notes, expedition reports.  Includes primary source material related to colonization, de-colonization, British Empire, polar and desert expeditions.  


Access information: Access on and off campus. 
Description: This digital resource documents the liberation struggles in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, including archival materials, periodicals, oral histories, books, and photographs. Struggles for Freedom brings together materials from various archives and libraries throughout the world documenting colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region.


Tanzania and Malawi in records from colonial missionaries, 1857-1965

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Containing over 54,000 digitised pages from Bodleian's Commonwealth and African manuscripts and archives, this database contains documents relating to the UMCA’s (Universities’ Mission to Central Africa) activities in Tanzania and Malawi during the period 1857-1965. The papers provide an insight into the spread of Christianity in Central Africa. Made up of 5 volumes it includes ‘Central Africa’ magazine, missionaries’ correspondence and journals as well as miscellaneous correspondence, press cuttings, books and conference papers.


Access information: Access on and off campus
Description: Translated Texts for Historians book series makes available historical sources from 300-800 AD translated into English, in many cases for the first time.
  The geographic range covers Syria, Arabia, Armenia, Georgia and Egypt in the East; North Africa; major cities of the Roman Empire (Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople); and Spain, Gaul, Italy, Britain and Ireland in the West.
  Types of writing include histories, chronicles, letters, annals, formularies, compendia, political speeches, military and theological handbooks, poems, documentary sources, records of church councils, biblical and theological commentaries, sermons, church histories, Christian treatises, Christian and pagan panegyric and polemic, Neoplatonic texts, Lives of saints, bishops and popes.


Uganda Under Colonial Rule, in Government Reports, 1903-1961

Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: The colony of Uganda was managed by the government departments who wrote these progress reports. Some reports start in the 1900’s, but most reports cover from the 1920’s until independence. These reports explain why those statistics are at the levels recorded. The contents pages at the front of each report list the departments which existed at that time. Comparing the contents pages reveals how the structure of the colonial government changed over time.


Web of Science Core Collection

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Access on and off campus.

  Russian Science Citation Index is not presently included in the Web of Science.

Citations and abstracts to millions of journal articles and conference proceedings from all subjects. Cited reference searching, Impact Factors, h-indexes and email alerts available.


Arts & Humanities (1975 onwards), Science and Social Sciences Citation Indexes (both 1900 onwards), Conference Proceedings in Science and Social Science & Humanities (both 1990 onwards).

Also: Book Citation Indexes in Science and Social Sciences & Humanities (both 2005 onwards), Current Chemical Reactions (1986 onwards), Emerging Sources Citation Index (2015 onwards), Current Chemical Reactions (1985 onwards), Index Chemicus (1993 onwards).

Change "Search in:" to use: BIOSIS Citation Index (1926 onwards), Current Contents Connect (1998 onwards), Data Citation Index (1990 onwards), Derwent Innovations Index (1966 onwards), KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980 onwards), Medline (1950 onwards), PrePrint Citation Index (1991 onwards), ProQuest Dissertatoins & Theses Citation Index (1637 onwards), SciELO Citation Index (2002 onwards), Zoological Record (1864 onwards).


Publisher userguide

Finding articles which have in their reference lists a work you found useful ('cited reference searching'):

Cited Reference Searching (pdf)


Journal Citation Reports (JCR): 

Journal Impact Factors and other measures on JCR (pdf)


Access information: Access on and off campus.
Description: Global database containing tens of millions of bibliographic records on all subjects from 1000 A.D. to date, for all types of material catalogued by libraries, including books and digital resources, maps, musical scores, sound recordings, manuscripts, films, videos. No abstracts.


Access information: Freely available
Description: For global economic policies. Using Documents & Reports (previously known as World Development Sources (WDS)) search and a browse the full-text of 27,000 World Bank publications:
  Analytic & Advisory (in-depth background, strategic priorities, and direction for lending activities).
  Project Documents (loan documents released to the public according to the project cycle; Publications & Research (Formal publications, working papers & informal series from departments around the Bank).
  The Data & Research section provides access to statistics and research output, including: research briefs, policy research reports, World Bank economic classification of countries, Global Economic Prospects online.


World Health Organization (WHO) Institutional Repository (IRIS)

Access information: Freely available
Description: Search the entire collection of WHO publications. Access to online publications in full where available.
Additional information:

WHO's Regional Offices' web pages have links to full-text of their publications, their library services and information listed under health topics:


World Heritage Sites : Africa

Access information: Access on and off-campus. JSTOR are providing institutions with free access to the World Heritage Sites: Africa database through June 30th, 2022.

World Heritage Sites: Africa is a versatile collection of more than 86,000 objects of visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage and rock art sites. This collection aids researchers in African studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, geography, history, and literature, as well as those focused on geomatics, historic preservation, urban planning, and visual and spatial technologies.

Related Links

Subject guide: African studies