The ASCL Library aspires to have a broad collection, which also reflects diverse voices from Africa. Apart from books, journals and some newspapers, the library has an extensive film collection, photographs, development plans on microfiche, and an archival section. Many publications are available online and the library gives access to diverse databases and other digital sources.

The collection covers the whole African continent. Disciplines: anthropology, sociology, history, philosophy, economics, political science, women's studies, management and policy studies, law, religion, education, socio-linguistics, literature and art. Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Afrikaans, and various African languages. Read more in our Collection Plan 2022-2026.

The book collection of the ASCL Library consists of over 100,000 books, including academic material, ‘grey  literature’, pictorial works, and fiction. Staff of the ASCL Library undertake yearly book acquisition trips to African countries.

More than 400 current serials subscriptions, most of which are (also available as) online journals. The online catalogue contains titles of almost 100,000 journal articles, many open online and/or with abstracts.

Current African newspapers in print, 40 newspapers on microfiche and 65 old African newspapers (1800-1922) online in the database African Newspapers (campus access) on Also see the Middle Eastern and North African Newspapers collection.

More than 2500 documentaries and feature films on DVD available to the public. An external DVD Drive can be borrowed. Consult the Ethnographic Video Online database  and Docuseek2 to view classic and contemporary documentaries (campus access).

More than 7,000 photographs online available to the public via Wikimedia Commons (mainly on Sierra Leone in the 1930s and Senegal and Guinea-Bissau in the early 1970s).

Development plans
9500 microfiches of development plans by African states (only accessible in the Library).

The ASC library collection also comprises a small but steadily growing archival section.

Over 500 maps in our collection, partly available through the ASCL Library catalogue.

Digital library

  • About 2700 open online publications accessible via the catalogue, and more than 400 online journals.
  • An online repository with links to more than 90,000 articles, many open online: Connecting Africa.
  • A collection of over 240,000 African social science titles from diverse databases: Africabib.
  • More digital sources by the ASCL (library) can be found here.