Call for Papers out for African Literary Archives Conference

SCOLMA’s annual conference, ‘Things come together?: literary archives from, in and for Africa’, will take place at the University of Birmingham on Monday 10 September 2018.

This conference 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. This conference will look at archives generated by novelists, poets and dramatists, whether in oral or written form and whether in modern or ‘traditional’ genres.

Papers are invited on archives in private ownership, and those held in institutions. What is being lost, and what is being preserved? How are these resources being made available, and how are they being used to engage with African publics? What is the role of literary heirs as guardians of these archives? How are these records being managed in public and institutional archives? What are the problems and opportunities of preserving such recent material?

A further set of questions includes the role of these archives in helping to bring about change in the teaching of literature; the linguistic content and context of this material; and special considerations relating to oral archives.

Subjects might include, but are not limited to:

Availability/accessibility of literary archives

Literature in African languages


Oral archives

Street literature

The impact of new media on African literary archives

Engagement with communities

The archives of individual writers

Researchers, writers and their family members, archivists and librarians are invited to submit abstracts of up to 500 words for consideration for this conference to Sarah Rhodes ( by 31 March 2018. Please include your institutional affiliation and/or a short (one paragraph) biography.

This conference is held in association with the African Studies Association (UK). The biannual conference of ASAUK will be held at the University of Birmingham 11–13 September 2018. For more details see

New Edition of Livingstone Online

A second edition of Livingstone Online ( has been released as the Livingstone Online Enrichment and Access Project comes to an end after four years. Livingstone Online is a digital museum and library, hosted by the University of Maryland Libraries, which makes available David Livingstone’s visual and written legacy. It contains images of manuscripts held in libraries and archives around the world, transcriptions, critical essays and background information, and describes how spectral imaging technology was used to recover previously hidden text.

The new edition includes new manuscript images, revised metadata and the integration of critical editions of Livingstone’s final manuscripts. The site guide ( is a helpful entry point to the resource.

Commonwealth Studies Research Day

Senate House Library will be holding a Commonwealth Studies Research Day on Tuesday 14th November 2017 which is intended for researchers ranging from undergraduates to PhD students and academics. There will be presentations on the Library’s anti-apartheid collections and Nigerian pamphlets and the opportunity to discuss research topics with specialist library and academic staff. The event is free but booking is essential. For further information see

Important This site makes use of cookies which may contain tracking information about visitors. By continuing to browse this site you agree to our use of cookies.