Posts by Jenni Skinner

African Research and Documentation 131 – 2017, Contents


Jody Butterworth

Saving Archives Through Digitisation: Reflections on Endangered Archives Programme Projects in Africa

Hanna Grayson and Paul Rukesha

Digital Archives in a Changing Rwanda

Tom Cunningham

The Colonial Archive as Material Remains: Reflections on an “Endangered Archives Project”

Samantha L. Scott, Rick Rohde and Timm Hoffman

Repeat Landscape Photography, Historical Ecology and the Wonder of Digital Archives in Southern Africa

Pier Luigi Rossi

Free Access to Scientific Publications for Developing Countries: the Research archive of the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)

Kelvin Chikonzo

Subaltern Voices/Interests in Contemporary Protest Theatre in Zimbabwe

Book Reviews

African Print Cultures: Newspapers and Their Publics in the Twentieth Century: edited by Derek R. Peterson, Emma Hunter and Stephanie Newell. Marion Wallace.

Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures with the Ever-living Poet; by Edward Wilson-Lee and How Shakespeare Became Colonial: Editorial Tradition and the British Empire by Leah S. Marcus. Terry Barringer.

Bookings now open for SCOLMA 2018 Conference

Bookings are now open for the SCOLMA 2018 Conference which will be held at the University of Birmingham, Monday 10th September.

‘Things come together?: Literary archives from, in and for Africa’ will explore African literary archives, their creation, preservation, digitisation and use in research and teaching. African literature is multi-faceted and multi-lingual. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) not only signalled the first stages of a new outpouring of literary creativity in Africa, but also built upon long literary traditions, both oral and written. The conference will look at archives generated by novelists, poets and dramatists, whether in oral or written form and whether in modern or ‘traditional’ genres.

Full event programme, pricing details, and booking contact:

Please see the online booking form here:


SCOLMA AGM 2017 – Minutes


(UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa)

Minutes of the 55th Annual General Meeting held at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, on Monday 11th September 2017 during the annual conference, ‘Document to Digital: How does Digitisation Aid African Research.


Present: Terry Barringer, Pat Hewitt, Lucy McCann, Alison Metcalfe, Sarah Rhodes, Marion Wallace, Dawn Wright, Mandy Banton, Charles Fonge, Sue Houchins, Jos Damen, Nicki Hitchcott.

Apologies were received from Stephanie Kitchen, Barbara Spina, Laurence Byrne, Dan Gilfoyle, Jenni Skinner, Nicky Sugar.


  1. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the 54th Annual General Meeting were approved as a true and complete record.

  1. Report of the Chair

Lucy McCann presented her report as Chair. She commented on the success of the 2016 Annual Conference (‘African Medicine Matters: documenting encounters in medical practice and healthcare’) held at the University of Cambridge and the issue of ARD based upon it.  She thanked the National Library of Scotland for hosting the 2017 Conference, Taylor & Francis and Adam Matthew for their support, and the speakers for the wide range of interesting subjects covered.

ARD is now being published in two issues per year but with no reduction in overall content. The Printing Place has made excellent progress in printing the bumper 225 page issue127, with numbers 128 and 129 out imminently.  Number 130 is almost complete.  SCOLMA has continued its usual activities, including regular involvement with ELIAS and ASAUK, holding seminars and maintaining its website. Committee members were thanked for their contributions and enthusiasm, especially Marilyn Glanfield (formerly Web Manager) and Catherine Robertson (Development Officer) for their sterling work over the past few years as they retired from the committee in 2017.

The full report is attached below.

  1. Financial statement and approval of audited accounts

Alison Metcalfe presented the audited accounts for 2016.  She noted that ARD subscription income was down although this may be partly due to the EBSCO renewals not yet in. Royalties from the Publishers Licencing Agency had, however, contributed to income. The annual conference had also made an increasing contribution.

As a result of lower expenditure due to reduced printing costs with the change in the ARD publications schedule the surplus was higher than in 2015 and is currently just over £19,000.

The approval of the accounts was proposed by Dawn Wright, seconded by Terry Barringer and passed unanimously. Peter Westley was reappointed as auditor, proposed by Marion Wallace, seconded by Patricia Hewitt and agreed unanimously.

  1. Appointment of Officers and Committee

The following nominations were put forward:


Chair – Lucy McCann, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Secretary – Sarah Rhodes, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Treasurer – Alison Metcalfe, National Library of Scotland

Editor – Terry Barringer (individual member)

Web manager – Jenni Skinner, African Studies Library, University of Cambridge

Programme secretary – Dan Gilfoyle, The National Archives

Development officer – [vacant]


Laurence Byrne, Senate House Library (elected 2016)

Pat Hewitt, Robert Sainsbury Library, University of East Anglia (elected 2016)

Barbara Spina (individual member) (elected 2015)

Nicky Sugar (Bristol Archives) (elected 2017)


Marion Wallace, The British Library

Dawn Wright, SOAS Library

These were elected nem con

ASAUK reps: Stephanie Kitchen, International African Institute and Toby Green, Kings College London (for Cambridge meetings).

5. Nomination of Peter Limb as an honorary member of SCOLMA

It was noted that Peter Limb, well-respected Africana Bibliographer at Michigan State University, had retired in the summer of 2017, returning to his native Australia.  In recognition of his long standing commitment to SCOLMA since the 1980s through articles for ARD, involvement in the SCOLMA book (African Studies in the Digital Age: DisConnects?), and as a regular conference attendee Lucy McCann nominated him to become an honorary member. Terry Barringer seconded the motion and it was agreed unanimously.  The Chair will write to inform him.

  1. Any other business

Charles Fonge, Archivist at the Borthwick Institute (University of York) voiced his interest in York joining the SCOLMA Committee.  It was agreed that Charles be invited to a forthcoming meeting and seminar.

No other business was reported.

Secretary: Sarah Rhodes (




11 September 2017

 Chair’s Report


2016 conference

We had a highly successful conference in Cambridge in September 2016 on the theme ‘African Medicine Matters: documenting encounters in medical practice and healthcare’. Our keynote speaker was Dr Benson Mulemi of the Catholic University of East Africa who gave an excellent introduction to the day covering many of the issues which were emerged later on. Other speakers covered medicine in Africa during World War I, sources for studying indigenous health, medicine and mission and international NGOs, disease control and the recording and development of traditional medicines and practices. Asha Ahmed Mwilu introduced her fascinating documentary film on traditional and western medicine in Kenya. Papers are being published in African Research and Documentation.

We are most grateful to Jenni Skinner of the African Studies Library and her colleagues in the Alison Richard Building who ensured the day ran so smoothly. We are also grateful to our sponsors, Adam Matthew and Taylor and Francis, for their loyal support.

2017 conference

This year’s theme is ‘Document to Digital: how does digitisation aid African research?’. We are most grateful to the National Library of Scotland, Adam Matthew and Taylor & Francis for their support and to our speakers for the wide range of subjects being covered.

African Research and Documentation

Our new printers, The Printing Place, have made an excellent job of producing African Research and Documentation beginning with number 126 and earlier this year the bumper 225 page number 127 containing Hans Zell and Raphael Thierry’s important study of book donation programmes in Africa. Numbers 128 and 129 are with the printers and number 130 is almost complete. Contributions and suggestions are always welcome.

African Studies in the Digital  Age: DisConnects?

We still have some copies of SCOLMA’s book of selected papers from the 2012 50th anniversary conference about African Studies in the digital age which was published by Brill in September 2014. Copies are available from SCOLMA at the special price of £15. The  book’s details are:

Terry Barringer and Marion Wallace, with Jos Damen, Lucy McCann, John McIlwaine, John Pinfold and Sarah Rhodes (eds), African Studies in the Digital Age: DisConnects? (Leiden: Brill, 2014).

Committee meetings and seminars

SCOLMA held three committee meetings this year, on 14 November 2016 (Senate House Library), 13 February 2017 (SOAS – Senate House North Block) and 15 May 2017 (Senate House Library). In February Katie Sambrook from King’s College London Special Collections gave a seminar on the Foreign Office Library holdings relating to Africa at KCL and in May Marion Wallace reflected on curating the West Africa exhibition at the British Library in 2015-2016.

Web presence

We continue to maintain our website and to tweet regularly, using a rota of SCOLMA committee members to keep the information up to date. We now have 379 followers on Twitter, an increase from 320 a year ago.

European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS)

Dawn Wright attended the Eleventh Annual Meeting of ELIAS at the University Library, Basel on 28th June this year, a gathering of 22 participants. The morning session included presentations on the Korea-Africa Partnership; on Afrikaportal which will provide access to research materials on Africa; the Namibia Digital Collection, a collaboration between Namibia and Switzerland; a project at Africa Studies Centre Leiden to compare African Studies centres and libraries in Europe; a collaboration between the Nordic Africa Institute and the Tanzanian Heritage Archives Project to exchange scanned material; and on the new building of the Library of Les Afriques dans le Monde in Bordeaux. Three new members, from Vienna, Bordeaux and Frankfurt, joined the Working Group and there was then a visit to an exhibition on Namibian popular music at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien.

We are grateful to Dawn for continuing to represent SCOLMA on the ELIAS Working Group.

African Studies Association (UK)

We continue to value our close connections with ASAUK and a number of SCOLMA members attended the ASAUK biennial conference in Cambridge in September 2016.  I reported on SCOLMA’s activities at the ASAUK AGM held during the conference and attended the ASAUK Council meetings in December and May. We are very grateful for the input of Stephanie Kitchen as ASAUK representative at our committee meetings.

Thank you

SCOLMA is only able to carry out its activities due to the efforts of many people and we are sorry to lose two committee members this year. Marilyn Glanfield, until recently in charge of the African Studies Library in Cambridge, joined the committee in 2005 and served as Programme Secretary from 2007 to 2011 and as Webmaster from 2011 until now. Since the launch of our ‘new’ website Marilyn has ably sorted out problems which have arisen and encouraged us to contribute news and features. Marilyn was also instrumental in organising our very informative and well received ‘Africa and the Moving Image’ conference in Cambridge in 2009.

We are also sorry to lose Catherine Robertson from the University of Birmingham Library where her role is moving away from African studies. Catherine joined the committee in 2009 and has served as development officer for several years. Due to Catherine’s efforts we held a very successful conference at Birmingham in 2014 on ‘African Trajectories: Travel and the Archive’.

I would like to thank our long-serving editor of African Research and Documentation, Terry Barringer, for her sterling work and also Barbara Spina, Alison Metcalfe, Sarah Rhodes and particularly John McIlwaine for their assistance with editorial work over the last year; Alison Metcalfe our Treasurer; Sarah Rhodes our Secretary; our Seminar Secretary, Dan Gilfoyle; and our ELIAS representative, Dawn Wright. Terry Barringer, Pat Hewitt, Alison Metcalfe, Sarah Rhodes and Marion Wallace have served on this year’s conference planning committee and we are grateful for their efforts in making today a success, particularly to Alison who as the local person has shouldered much of the work.


Lucy McCann, Chair


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