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African Studies Library

Your one-stop-shop for all things African Studies at the University of Cambridge & beyond

List of Portals & Institutions


  • AEGIS (originally an acronym for ‘Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies’) is a network organisation made up of Europe-based member institutions connected to research and education on and in Africa and African Studies. Set up in 1991, it has expanded substantially since then. The original intention was to make visible and build upon the resources and research potential available among Africanist institutions in Europe.

    • One such network is ELIAS (European Librarians in African Studies), an informal network for all librarians, archivists, documentalists or other information professionals working with materials from and about Africa in institutions within Europe. ELIAS’s members work in a variety of institutions including libraries, archives, organisations, NGOs etc. 

  • Africa Check - "Africa Check is an independent, non-partisan organisation which assesses claims made in the public arena using journalistic skills and evidence drawn from the latest online tools, readers, public sources and experts, sorting fact from fiction and publishing the results"

  • Africa Commons - Available to Cambridge staff and students using your Raven login:  this is a project to digitize, disseminate, and discover African cultural materials. Our aim is to enable Africa easily to control, digitize, and disseminate its archival riches—those within Africa and items residing internationally. We help preserve African content and enable African scholars easily to find and access expressions of their heritage in Western collections.

  • Africa Portal - "The Africa Portal is an online resource that seeks to broaden the availability, accessibility and use of policy research on issues critical to the future of Africa."

  • African Arguments  - "We publish high quality analysis of African current affairs and politics from inside the continent and through our global network of writers"

  • African Online Digital Library - "The African Online Digital Library (AODL) is a portal to multimedia collections about Africa"  Contents include photographs, interviews, documents, full-text journals.

  • African Studies Virtual Library via Columbia University Libraries - "Since 1997, Columbia University's collection of African Studies Internet Resources has served as the official WWW-Virtual Library guide for African Studies"

  • AfricaRenewal Online (UN) - "The Africa Renewal information programme, produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today."

  • Another World? East Africa and the Global 1960s - Leverhulme Trust funded collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh, Warwick and York, seeks to understand and explain how East Africa’s global connections systematically broke down after independence, opening up a set of new and unpredictable paths forward.

  • Columbia Unviersity - African Studies Portal - Since 1997, Columbia University's collection of African Studies Internet Resources has served as the official WWW-Virtual Library guide for African Studies. For more information, see About page; or African Studies.

  • The Conversation (Africa) - "It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.  Our team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public."

  • Eldis - "Our aim is to share the best in development policy, practice and research. Browse the latest editorially selected content from over 7,500 development organisations - all available free to download. Share your work with over 80,000 development practitioners"

  • Good Governance Africa (GGA) - "GGA is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation with centres across Africa focused solely on improving government performance across the continent. GGA engages in applied research and stimulates critical debate."

  • INCLUDE - "an African-Dutch platform of researchers, practitioners and policymakers generating, gathering and disseminating knowledge on inclusive development in Africa. We work with research, policy dialogues and knowledge sharing to make evidence-based knowledge produce better and more inclusive policies."

    • Stay tuned for their new program - African Policy Dialogues 2024 Launch

  • South African History Online - "SAHO is committed to promoting history and critically engaging with our past through the building of a comprehensive online encyclopaedia and popular history programmes on South African and African history and culture."

  • UCL's Legacies of British Slavery Database and Portal (Open Access): Browse their database and commercial, cultural, historical, imperial, physical and political legacies, as well as estates and maps.

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Research Institutes

  • The Africa Institute - "Established in 2018, The Africa Institute located in Sharjah, UAE, is an interdisciplinary academic research institute dedicated to the study, research, and documentation of Africa and the African diaspora. As the only institution of its kind located in the Gulf—the historical nexus of African-Arab cultural exchange—The Africa Institute is uniquely positioned to expand understanding of African and African diaspora studies as a global enterprise." Check out their language learning section!

  • Africa Research Institute (ARI) - "Africa Research Institute (ARI) encourages debate, questions orthodoxy and challenges “received wisdom” in and about Africa. We seek to promote an informed, nuanced and representative understanding of the continent... ARI’s research is distributed widely within Africa and elsewhere to decision-makers, institutions and individuals with a keen interest in the continent’s future."

  • The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) -  a South Africa-based civil society organisation working throughout Africa to bring creative African solutions to the challenges posed by conflict on the continent.

  • African Digital Research Repositories - "compiled by the International African Institute as a service to African studies research and scholarship in line with our remit to promote the dissemination of knowledge from and on Africa."

  • African Studies Centre Leiden web dossiers (University of Leiden, Netherlands) - "The dossiers deal with topical issues in African Studies and are usually published to coincide with a conference or event or with recent developments in Africa. They appear on average three or four times a year."

  • Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) 

  • GIGA (German Institute for Global & Area Studies) Bibliographies -  GIGA regional libraries publish online bibliographies quarterly on current issues and countries

  • Institute of Security Studies (S Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal) - "ISS' work covers transnational crimes, migration, maritime security and development, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, crime prevention and criminal justice, and the analysis of conflict and governance."

  • Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) Working Papers (Makerere, Uganda) -  "The Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) has had a proud existence since its establishment in 1948. The secret of this pride has been its ability to change with the times, at times to muster the courage to defy scholarly convention, often to be at the cutting edge of change at Makerere."

  • Thinking Africa - (POLIS @ Rhodes University, SA) – "...dedicated to a sustained interrogation of what it means to speak about Africa in a post-Area Studies and post-disciplinary intellectual world. Our main focus is on how to produce more black intellectuals for the next generation of humanities scholars in (South) Africa."

UK Associations and Societies

  • African Studies Association UK (ASAUK) - "A major aim of the ASAUK is to facilitate linkages between UK and African institutions, and between scholars in Africa and the UK."  

  • Anglo-Ethiopian Society - The Anglo-Ethiopian Society was formed in 1948 and became a registered charity in 2013 (England and Wales: 1152741). Its object is to advance public education and knowledge about Ethiopia, including its history, culture, art and architecture, natural history and economy.

  • Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion - "The Archbishop of Canterbury, Durham University and Church Mission Society founded the project in 2015... To raise up new 'Doctors of the Church' in the global South to write, network, publish and engage with theologians in the global North, to renew the worldwide Church and influence society"

  • Royal African Society (RAS) -  "We foster a better understanding of Africa in the UK and throughout the world - its history, politics, culture, problems and potential.  We disseminate knowledge and insight to make a positive difference to Africa's development.  We celebrate the diversity and depth of African Culture."

  • SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa) - "We are a forum for librarians, archivists and others concerned with African studies materials in libraries and archives in the United Kingdom.  Through our various activities and institutions, we aim to provide the best possible service for academics, students and other researchers working in African studies."

African Studies Collections Outside of Cambridge

Linked below are various African Studies Centers and Collections 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.

For a more comprehensive list of African Studies Programs, Research Centers, and Universities, see Columbia's impressively curated list.

Museums and other relevant institutions

African Art

  • Artskop: Art Powerhouse for Africa, crossing times and borders A space dedicated to expression and exchanges, prone to discover a land of innovative creation, Artskop3437 sets Africa at the center of discussions. Africa is a continent that continuously dialogues with many other cultures in the world, transcending ages and forms. A complex cultural diversity framed by two latitudes, under crossed influences, aiming to be seen by everyone.

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