Digital library

A summary of digital sources from the ASCL (library) can be found below. A selection of links to other digital sources on Africa, by other institutions and organizations, can be found here. An overview of our entire (printed and digital) collection can be found here.

1. E-resources in the ASCL catalogue
Restricting your search to full text in the ASCL catalogue can be done by filtering the results by ‘Full Text Online’ after searching. The filter options are located on the left side of the screen.

2. ASCL publications
The African Studies Centre Leiden collection in the Leiden University Repository contains dissertations and other academic, professional or popularising publications of Africanists affiliated to the African Studies Centre Leiden as well as publications published by the ASCL.

3. Connecting-Africa
Connecting-Africa is a gateway to African research information and materials produced worldwide. It provides access to more than 90,000 publications from 99 repositories.

4. Africabib
AfricaBib is a collection of more than 240,000 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 seven bibliographic databases covering Africana Periodical Literature, African WomenWomen Travelers to AfricaIslam in Africa, Kenya Coast, Water and Africa, and Education in Africa, or together as one overall bibliographic database: AfricaBib.

5. ASCL Country Portal
The ASCL country portal provides a list of free internet resources and other information on Africa. It was initially set up for the general public but those with greater in-depth knowledge of Africa will also find some of the resources valuable. The ASCL country portal aims to present information on each African country at a glance. The internet resources have been selected by staff at the African Studies Centre Leiden library and ASCL webmaster Harro Westra.

6. Kenya Coast Portal
The Kenya Coast Portal is a service provided by the ASCL for students, researchers, development workers, government officials and others with an interest in the Kenya coast. It incorporates the disciplines of anthropology, economics, education, geography, health, history, languages, law, political science, religion and sociology. The Portal includes four sections: topical reviews; bibliography; statistical information; and open-access publications.

7. African Newspapers Readex database (restricted access)
This has more than 100 historical African newspapers and features titles from Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

8. African Writers Series (AWS, restricted access)
This online edition consists of more than 250 volumes of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction prose including works by Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Steve Biko, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Doris Lessing, Nelson Mandela, Dambudzo Marechera, Christopher Okigbo, Okot p'Bitek and Tayeb Salih.

The authors are indexed by gender, nationality and date of birth/death, and all the texts are listed according to the details of first publication (date, place, publisher and language) and of first publication in the AWS (date and AWS series number). Biographies are included for all the authors in the series. The ‘Cover Gallery’ offers full-colour scans of many of the original covers.

9. Grand corpus des littératures française et francophone du Moyen Âge au 20e siècle (restricted access)
Contains: ‘Corpus de la première littérature francophone d'Afrique noire, écrite et orale, des origines aux Indépendances (fin 18e siècle-1960)’ and ‘Corpus de la première littérature francophone de l'océan Indien, écrite et orale, des origines aux Indépendances (18e siècle-1960).

A corpus of medieval and modern French literature and Francophone literature from Black Africa and the Indian Ocean, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century: more than 14,000 texts by about 300 authors that can be searched  simultaneously. All the texts and bibliographical information are in full text and tagged.  Users can constitute their own corpus. Results, tables of contents and documents can be exported.

10. African History and Culture, 1540-1921 (restricted access)
Created from the renowned holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, African History and Culture, 1540-1921, is the most important and comprehensive collection of its kind. More than 1,300 fully cataloged and searchable books, pamphlets, almanacs, broadsides and ephemera cover the history, peoples, and social and economic development of the African continent from the 16th century to the early 20th century. All areas of Africa and important adjacent regions are covered.

Major subject areas covered include Africana Studies, Atlantic Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Economic Studies, Slavery and Diaspora Studies. Based on the Library Company collection that itself was an ambitious attempt to gather all printed information about this area and its history, works of all kinds are included: historical narratives, social histories, maps, navigational logs, military reports, government documents, demographic studies, anthropological studies, natural histories, personal and personal memoirs and much more. Many seminal items published prior to 1800 are included, but the majority of these 1,300-plus works imprints were published in the 19th century.