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About AfricaBib

AfricaBib is a collection of Africana social science titles, presented in one easily accessible location on the internet. It is the culmination of over forty years of Africana research.

The site consists of two bibliographic databases covering Africana periodical literature (Africana Periodical Literature) and African Women's literature (African Women). You will also find a comprehensive bibliography on women travelers and explorers to Africa (Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa). In June 2012 two bibliographies were added, one on Islam in Africa, compiled by Paul Schrijver, the other on the Kenya Coast, compiled by Jan Hoorweg. In July 2014 Water and Africa was added. Followed in September 2017 by Education in Africa.

The first three databases were created by Davis Bullwinkle. Work on the Africana periodical literature index began as a small project in 1974. In those days, computers as we know them today did not exist. The project grew and was expanded over the years to include about 200 titles. Unfortunately, it was still not accessible to researchers. When computer technology did come along, a great deal of time over many years was taken to make the data computer accessible. In recent years, more titles have been added to the periodical database. In February 2008 the database indexed over 60,000 items that appeared in over 500 periodical titles.

In 1989 Davis Bullwinkle published a three-volume work on women in Africa during the International Women's Decade. This three-volume work is the predecessor of the African Women bibliographic database which in February 2008 contained over 35,000 items from all different forms of media. The women travelers bibliography grew out of a project to collect these materials and was included in AfricaBib around 1995. After identifying materials on the subject, a comprehensive bibliography was the next step, since none had ever been compiled.

The development of the World Wide Web changed the way that information would be disseminated forever. Its development now allows people from all parts of the world to equally gain access to information. The development of AfricaBib into internet databases in 1999 was the natural progression for a project of this size. It can be updated 'on-the-fly' and is accessible 24 hours a day worldwide.

In March 2008 Davis Bullwinkle, the man behind AfricaBib and the initial compiler, retired as director of the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) Research Library, University of Arkansas, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) in Leiden, The Netherlands, agreed to host the website and continue the AfricaBib service in the spirit of its founder, as "... a service provided free to the World".

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For any comments, changes, corrections or additions please contact AfricaBib at africabib@ascleiden.nl or the ASCL Library at telephone +31 (0)71 527 3354.


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