The African Studies Centre Leiden library collection consists of approximately 91,000 books, including many rare items gathered on regular acquisition trips to Africa. It includes ‘grey literature’, like government reports, reports of international organizations, brochures, and pamphlets. We also have a substantial collection of African literature. Other materials:

More than 400 current serials subscriptions, most of which are (also available as) online journals. The online catalogue contains titles of about 90,000 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

About 1700 documentaries and feature films on video and DVD available to the public. Consult the Ethnographic Video Online database to view classic and contemporary documentaries (campus access).

About 1000 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.

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 56,000 articles, many open online: Connecting Africa.
  • A collection of more then 200,000 African social science titles from diverse databases: Africabib.
  • More digital sources by the ASC (library) can be found here.

Coverage of the collection


North and Sub-Saharan Africa


· anthropology and sociology
· history
· philosophy
· economics
· women's studies
· political science
· management and policy studies
· law
· administration
· religion
· education
· socio-linguistics
· literature and art


· English
· French
· German
· Dutch
· Spanish
· Portuguese
· Italian
· Afrikaans

Also see our collection development policy.