The African Studies Library supports the research and teaching needs of the African Studies MPhil course, and supports the rest of the University in the Undergraduate and Postgraduate study of Africa. Our particular focus is on Africa south of the Sahara.
We are open with loan privileges to all Cambridge University members.
External visitors are welcome to visit the Library to consult our material (reference only).
The African Studies Library is situated on the third floor of the Alison Richard Building, within the Centre for African Studies.
A small and friendly library with incredible views across the Sidgwick Site, we welcome all University members to use our facilities and collections.
We have the following to offer you as an African Studies Library user:
External visitors are more than welcome!
It is advisable to contact us prior to your arrival, especially if archival material is to be viewed.
You can request material that you wish to consult in advance, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or click to complete an online fetching form, providing as much information as possible including a date for your intended visit.
Monday to Friday
09:30 - 17:00
Monday to Friday
24 - 28 September for annual leave
The Library is occasionally closed for staff training, stock checking, or annual leave.
Please check here before making your journey!
Open shelf material can be borrowed by all user groups, and renewed online via your account on the iDiscover catalogue if they have not been requested. Loan periods are set as follows for open shelf material:
|Undergraduates||2 Weeks||8 Books|
|Graduates||4 Weeks||10 Books|
|Staff||8 Weeks||20 Books|
|Visiting Scholars||4 Weeks||8 Books|
|Study Skills Materials||7 DAYS|
|DVD & Video||7 DAYS|
16:00-10:30 the following morning
If borrowing on a Friday, overnight loans will be due 10:30 Monday.
We don't operate an end of term recall, or set vacation borrowing.
Please ask us if you would like to borrow for the vacation, we can extend your loans for you.
Overnight loans remain as overnight; please ask us if there is a title that you are interested in borrowing.
You can pay fines in cash when the library is open.
The main aim of Language Centre courses is to equip you with communicative skills for oral-aural travel situations, whilst developing your knowledge of grammar structures, written texts and writing. As you progress to intermediate 1, you become more discursive and look deeper into Swahili cultures. As well as African Studies students, you will be joining other Swahili learners from across the University. PhD fieldworkers often attend these classes.
If you would like to discuss self-study options for complementing your course or as an alternative to the classes, please book an appointment with an adviser here. You can find out more about study materials and other opportunities such as the language study group, the chance to find a conversation partner and our new special one-to-one support for fieldworkers.
Other African languages are also available through classes and self-study options. See the Language Centre website for details.
There are many other collections in Cambridge that hold relevant material to African Studies. Please check for opening hours and borrowing rights.
Below are some links to various African Studies Centres in the UK and elsewhere. If you are interested in these institutions, we may be able to arrange for you to visit and consult their collections.