MSU Libraries (MSUL) is among the top three university collections nationally for sub-Saharan Africa, with over 270,000 print volumes, and over 500,000 digital items. Areas of exceptional historic strength include Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sahelian countries, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. Subjects of particular strength include history, linguistics, politics, education, communications, anthropology, sociology, development, agriculture and health. MSUL digital resources on Africa are exceptional and include all available major Africana e-resources, including 200 full-text African scholarly journals in the social, human and natural sciences (SAe-Publications), African dissertations, African Writers Series Online (250 e-books), Corpus de la première littérature francophone d'Afrique noire, Aluka, Empire Online (1,000 items), SALDRU clippings collection, and comprehensive citation indexes of materials published in and about Africa. Special strengths also include perhaps the largest collection in the U.S. of microfilm from the Public Record Office in London, with extensive archives from Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. MSUL has strong collections of documents, papers, and ephemera including: the Sahel collection; the Ezera collection on Eastern Nigeria; South African political papers including Kathrada prison letters; the Kenya Airlift Papers; David Robinson Papers (Senegal and Mali); Harold Marcus Papers (Ethiopia); Donald Wright papers (Senegambia); John Hunter Papers (geography/medical anthropology of West Africa). There are extensive collections of African posters (500), cookbooks, comic art, and material on African sports.
Close attention is paid to African languages for teaching and research, with very strong holdings in Arabic (2,135), Amharic (1,505), KiSwahili (1,415), and Afrikaans (1,363), and significant holdings in Yoruba (388), Hausa (374), Shona (327), Malagasy (250), Tigrinya (200), isiZulu (181), Igbo (170), isiSotho (145), Somali (144), isiXhosa (140), Nyanja/Chewa (125), Fula (121), Ndebele (115), Setswana (150), Wolof (98), Kinyarwanda (90), Twi (89), Ewe (85), Bambara (83), Ganda (75), Mende and Temne (115), as well as other Niger-Congo languages (712).
The staff include two Africana specialists with Ph.D.s (Dr. Joe Lauer and Dr. Peter Limb), one librarian in cataloging and one staff in acquisitions.