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Africana Collection

The Africana collection at Alden Library supports the African Studies Program and research interests of all Ohio University faculty and students interested in Africa. The aim is to provide scholarly resources for a comprehensive understanding of the African continent, its peoples and its languages. The monograph collection is estimated at about 150,000 Africa related volumes. Beyond basic support of the whole of Africa, the collection concentrates on West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

Collection Focus

  • Materials in the collection cover a wide range of disciplines from the arts, history, literature, communication, education, political science and public health.
  • African language materials primarily Tigrinya, Akan, Swahili, Amharic, Arabic, Somali and Setswana.
  • Journals and electronic databases.
  • Feature films and documentaries on video and DVD.
  • Microform collection containing African newspapers, British foreign and colonial materials related to Africa, Kenyan National Archives.
  • Large collection of dissertations and theses on Africa

The library has depository arrangements with the Governments of Botswana and Swaziland, to acquire their official publications. The library participates in the Cooperative Acquisition Program of the Library of Congress, Nairobi Office to acquire materials published in Africa. Ohio University Libraries is a member of OhioLINK a statewide library consortium in Ohio and has access to an extensive collection of Africa related electronic journals and materials from other libraries in Ohio. Through its membership of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) the library has access to the large collection of Africa related materials in CRL’s collections.

Using the collection

  • To locate a specific monograph, journal, film or microform title search the ALICE catalog.
  • For more information about specific resources, how to search the catalog and databases, find articles from electronic databases consult the African Studies Subject and Course Guides.

The Africana reference collection and services is based at the Center for International Collections (CIC) on the first floor of Alden Library. The reference collection contains encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries and handbooks and several electronic reference materials are available through the ALICE catalog. The general Africana collection is housed in the stacks of Alden Library arranged by Library of Congress classification scheme. Contact Araba Dawson-Andoh, Africana Librarian  for help with research.


Negash Tigrinya Collection

The Negash Tigrinya Collection is a unique collection of Tigrinya language texts donated to Ohio University Libraries by Dr Ghirmai Negash, Professor of English at Ohio University. The collection includes:

  • Eritrean folk literature
  • Collections of  stories
  • Poems and novels
  • Works by important Tigrinya authors such as Musa Aron, Beyene Haile and Yishak Yosief
  • Writings of freedom fighters in the Eritrean war of independence like Alemseged Tesfai
  • Tigrinya translations of works by important English literary writers including Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth

The collection is shelved in the general stacks by Library of Congress classification number and is available for circulation.

Bostwana Depository Collection


As a result of a series of linkage agreements and programs with Ohio University and the Botswana Ministry of Education, Ohio University Libraries was designated as a North American depository for official Botswana publications in 1990. The aim is to enrich the educational experience of both American and African students and researchers. The library collects all types of materials published in Botswana or about Botswana.  Publications cover subjects such as:

  • Culture and Language
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Health
  • Education

Dissertations and Theses about Africa

There are several hundred Africa-related dissertations and theses which have been completed at Ohio University. Starting with 1997, most dissertations completed at Ohio University are downloadable for free in ProQuest dissertations and theses database. Starting with 2001, Ohio University dissertations and theses submitted electronically are available at OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center.  Access the entire collection in the ALICE catalog which will show the location and availability of each dissertation or thesis.