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Africana Library

The MSU Libraries house a vast amount of African content in the Africana Library with over 270,000 print volumes and over 500,000 digital items, making it among the top three university collections nationally for sub-Saharan Africa.

Patrons will find materials from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sahelian countries, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and more. Focus subjects include history, linguistics, politics, education, communications, anthropology, sociology, development, agriculture and health. The staff includes two Africana specialists (Dr. Joe Lauer and Dr. Peter Limb). Additional information may be found on the MSU library website.

Digital Resources

The libraries’ digital resources on Africa feature all available major Africana e-resources including the largest microfilm collection in the U.S. from the Public Record Office in London, with extensive archives from Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. The collection also includes:

  • 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
  • comprehensive citation indexes of materials published in and about Africa

Papers and Ephemera

Housed within the libraries are extensive collections of African posters (500), cookbooks, comic art, and material on African sports. Papers include:

  • 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)


The libraries support MSU’s extensive work in African Language teaching and research with focuses on:

Arabic (2,135)
Amharic (1,505)
KiSwahili (1,415)
Afrikaans (1,363)
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)
other Niger-Congo languages (712)