Notice Board

Notice of SCOLMA AGM 2024

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Registered Charity no. 325086

SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa)
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2024

 

The 2024 AGM will be held online via Zoom on Friday 28 June 2024 at 11:00 BST.
If you wish to attend, please notify Sarah Rhodes, SCOLMA Secretary (sarah.rhodes@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) by 24 June 2024.

 

AGENDA

1. Approval of the Minutes of the 61st AGM (posted on our website)

2. Report of the Chair 2023/24 (Jenni Skinner)

3. Financial Statement and approval of the audited accounts (Lucy McCann)
• Appointment of auditor

4. Appointment of Officers and Committee

The following nominations have been received:

• Chair – Jenni Skinner (Centre of African Studies Library, University of Cambridge)
• Secretary – Sarah Rhodes (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
• Treasurer – Lucy McCann (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
• Editor – Terry Barringer (Individual member)
• Web Manager – Charles Fonge (Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York)
• Programme Secretary – Liz Haines (The National Archives)
• Development Officer – Marion Wallace (Individual member)

Elected:
• Mariam de Haan (British Library) – elected 2022
• Katie Sambrook (Kings College London) – elected 2022
• Patricia Hewitt (Robert Sainsbury Library, University of East Anglia) – elected 2023
• Alison Metcalfe (The National Library of Scotland) – elected 2023
• Barbara Spina – (Individual member) – elected 2023
• Ben Carson – (Centre of African Studies Library, Cambridge) – proposed 2024

Co-opted:
• Dawn Wright – (SOAS Library, University of London)
• ASAUK representative: Stephanie Kitchen – (International African Institute)

5. Any Other Business

Minutes of the AGM 2023

SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa)

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2023

Minutes of the 61st Annual General Meeting held at SOAS, London, and online on Friday 23 June 2023 at 13:15.

Present in person: Lucy McCann (Chair), Sarah Rhodes (Secretary), Patricia Hewitt, Marion Wallace, Terry Barringer, Stephanie Kitchen, Charles Fonge, Liz Haines, Mandy Banton, Ben Carson, Jody Butterworth, and Anna De Mutiis

Present online: Jenni Skinner, Dawn Wright and Barbara Spina

Apologies: Katie Sambrook and Jayne Pucknell

1. Approval of the Minutes of the 60th AGM posted on the SCOLMA website.

The Minutes were approved as a true record, proposed by Terry Barringer and seconded by Marion Wallace. There were no matters arising.

2. Report of the Chair 2022/23 (Lucy McCann)

During the past year SCOLMA has moved from operating wholly online to a hybrid format with a return to some in person events while continuing to use Zoom and Teams for meetings and other activities. For the last three years the AGM has been online. We are very pleased that some of us have been able to meet in person at SOAS today for this year’s conference and AGM while still connecting with remote participants.

2023 conference

SCOLMA did not hold a conference in 2022 when there was a limited response to our Call for Papers, perhaps caused by continuing uncertainty over travel and gatherings as a result of the pandemic. We are very pleased that today’s conference has come together to examine the critically important subject of Africa and the Environment. We are grateful to our speakers for the wide range of topics being covered; to our sponsors Taylor & Francis and Adam Matthew; to SOAS for the venue and particularly to Anna de Mutiis of the International African Institute for her technical support today. One of our speakers, Livingstone Muchefa from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, had hoped to be here in person but was unable to obtain a visa. With the assistance of our sponsors SCOLMA had planned to support his visit but we are very pleased that he will join us online.

African Research and Documentation/Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation

The first issue of Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation, SCOLMA’s new journal in collaboration with the International African Institute, was published in the autumn of 2022 and a launch event was held at SOAS on 1 December. Munyao Kilolo of Itu?ka and the Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and Dr Ida Hadjivayanis of SOAS participated in an ‘In conversation’ on African language publishing, translation and literature. The hybrid event attracted a good audience with questions coming from attendees on the African continent. The event was recorded and is available here.

The first volume consisted of an editorial and seven articles, two from Africa-based authors. The second volume is on schedule for publication in autumn 2023, with at least six articles and several
book reviews. It will include an article from Clive Kirkwood, Mandy Noble and Michal Singer (of UCT) on What we lost in the Jagger Library Fire. Several proposals are under discussion for the 2024 volume which will also include papers from SCOLMA’s 2023 Conference: Africa and the Environment: Archives and Data in the Climate Emergency.

The editorial committee, consisting of Terry Barringer (editor), R.E. Bartholomew (compiler, Africa Bibliography), Stephanie Kitchen (IAI, managing editor), Barbara Spina (IAI and SCOLMA) and the Chair of SCOLMA, meets quarterly by Zoom and is in constant email contact. Editing and production routines are now established and working well.
We are grateful to the entire editorial committee and colleagues at Cambridge University Press for all their work in getting the new journal underway so successfully.

Books for the Jagger Library, University of Cape Town

Following SCOLMA’s seminar in June 2022 on the fire at the Jagger Library in Cape Town and its aftermath SCOLMA put out a call for the donation of African Studies books to replace ones destroyed in the fire. A good response was received and, in liaison with UCT librarians, 180 books were selected and sent to Oxford along with a large collection of government publications. The books were transported to South Africa as part of a shipment organised by the Borien Educational Foundation for Southern Africa (BEFSA), which regularly sends books and equipment to schools in the region, and SCOLMA raised some funds towards the shipping costs. The books arrived at UCT on 22 May.

Advocacy

In July and August 2022 SCOLMA wrote two open letters to The National Archives concerning the withdrawal from public access of the FCO 141 series (the migrated archives) following the discovery of insecticide contamination in the papers. SCOLMA requested better communication with key stakeholders, the reinstatement of public access to the records as soon as possible and the dissemination of the methodology and safe handling guidance developed in order to benefit other institutions with insecticide-treated materials in their collections. We hope that SCOLMA’s intervention, along with that of others, encouraged TNA to put resources into testing the papers and led to public access being restored in October. Yesterday afternoon (22 June 2023) TNA held a workshop on the historic use of insecticides in library and archive collections, a very useful outcome of this episode.

SCOLMA remains concerned about the fate of the Rhodesian Army Archive and is discussing a Freedom of Information request.

Committee meetings and seminars

SCOLMA has held two committee meetings since the last AGM, on 1 December 2022 and on 3 March 2023. The 1 December meeting was SCOLMA’s first hybrid committee meeting with seven members of the committee meeting in person at SOAS and five joining on Zoom. We are grateful to SOAS for providing a room with the necessary IT. As this format enabled colleagues with longer distances to travel to attend I am sure that we will hold more hybrid meetings in the future.

On 17 January our Programme Secretary Marion Wallace organised an online seminar with Rebecca Adams, archivist at the London Metropolitan Archives, about her work cataloguing the Africa Centre Archive there. The seminar was most informative and there was good attendance. It was recorded and is available here.

Web Site and Communications

We are indebted to Jenni Skinner, ably assisted by Charles Fonge, for managing SCOLMA’s website during another year, organising our online events and putting the recordings onto YouTube – a new venture for SCOLMA! We are fortunate to be able to call on their technical expertise and we are very pleased that Charles has agreed to take on the role of web manager.
We continue to tweet regularly and now have 673 followers on Twitter (@Scolma), a slight increase from 643 a year ago. We encourage anyone interested in SCOLMA’s activities to subscribe to our Jisc mailing list, LIS-SCOLMA, where we publicise news and events.

European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS)

The 16th ELIAS Annual Meeting took place at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne on 30th May 2023. A number of papers looked at the theme “Images of Africa”. The event was hybrid – Jenni Skinner, Alison Metcalfe and Dawn Wright attended via Zoom.

At the Business Meeting it was agreed that the Working Group would remain the same (elections were held in 2022) with the possible addition of the host for the 2024 meeting. ELIAS will approach SCOLMA to see if they are amenable to a combined SCOLMA / ELIAS meeting to be held in the UK in 2024. The ELIAS Annual Meeting in 2025 will tie in with the next ECAS Conference in Prague.

Jos Damen reported that the ELIAS website has not yet been transferred to a new system. The website is also the ELIAS archive and a transfer would take time. One possibility is if any ELIAS member has an intern who would like to take on this task.

The ELIAS logo has not yet been used and Magali Meunier will recirculate to members in due course.

African Studies Association (UK)

I attended the ASAUK AGM in September, the Council meeting in December and sent a report to the April meeting on behalf of SCOLMA. The meetings are always very informative and useful and we are very grateful for the input of Stephanie Kitchen as ASAUK representative at our committee meetings.

Thank you and committee

The SCOLMA committee has continued to work as a strong team and I would like to thank all members for their commitment and support. I would particularly like to thank Pat Hewitt who is stepping down from the role of Treasurer after four year and has managed our finances most efficiently during a time of change, and Sarah Rhodes for her ongoing work as our reliable Secretary.

Thank you also to our other officers and representatives for their hard work during the past year: Terry Barringer, editor of Africa Bibliography Research and Documentation; Marion Wallace, Development Officer and Programme Secretary; Jenni Skinner, Web Manager; Dawn Wright, our ELIAS representative; and Stephanie Kitchen, ASAUK representative on the SCOLMA committee.

This year’s AGM sees some changes in our roles. I am grateful to Liz Haines for agreeing to take on the role of Programme Secretary and Charles Fonge for becoming Web Manager. I am particularly grateful to Jenni Skinner for taking up the mantle as Chair of SCOLMA, a role she will fill admirably.

In return a vote of thanks was given to Lucy for chairing the Committee so admirably herself.

3. Financial Statement and approval of the audited accounts (Patricia Hewitt) – circulated prior to the meeting

• Appointment of auditor

Patricia Hewitt, SCOLMA Treasurer, spoke to her report and commented on the audited accounts for 2022 (both were circulated at the meeting).

From 2022, SCOLMA had become a personal membership only organisation. This reflects the significant drop in income within ‘Membership and Subscriptions’. It follows the merger of SCOLMA’s African Research and Documentation with the International African Institute’s Africa Bibliography to form Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation where institutional subscriptions are operated by Cambridge University Press. It has taken time for information on these changes to be recognised, hence much of the subscription income received has had to be refunded (including a block of institutional payments received at the end of December 2021 so not refunded until 2022). Membership for 2022 accounted for £355.

As the conference was not held in 2022, there was no opportunity to attract income from this event as with past conferences. Royalties of £143.26 were received.

The financial update for 2022 noted that membership numbers were disappointing. However, 2022 had been a transitional year and opportunities to publicise the role of SCOLMA have yet to be fully exploited. Providing access at a significantly reduced rate to the merged journal Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation should attract new members. Nonetheless, it will take time for the new model to bed-in and it will be necessary to publicise SCOLMA actively to raise membership numbers.

On the positive side, the outgoings within the organisation was significantly lower. SCOLMA no longer bears the cost of producing and publicising African Research and Documentation nor the associated cost of the editorial honorarium (now paid by Cambridge University Press.)

The balance of account at 9 June 2023 = £8,308.46 with a deficit of £2701.

The proposal to reappoint Peter Westley as auditor, was proposed by Terry Barringer and seconded by Lucy McCann. The approval of the accounts was proposed by Stephanie Kitchen and seconded by Charles Fonge. All were in favour.

4. Appointment of Officers and Committee

The following nominations have been received:

Chair – Jenni Skinner (Centre of African Studies Library, University of Cambridge)
Secretary – Sarah Rhodes (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
Treasurer – Lucy McCann (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)
Editor – Terry Barringer (Individual member)
Web Manager – Charles Fonge (Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York)
Programme Secretary – Liz Haines (The National Archives)
Development Officer – Marion Wallace (Individual member)

Elected:

Mariam de Haan (British Library) – elected 2022
Patricia Hewitt (Robert Sainsbury Library, University of East Anglia)
Alison Metcalfe (The National Library of Scotland)
Katie Sambrook (Kings College London) – elected 2022
Barbara Spina – (Individual member)

Co-opted:
Dawn Wright – (SOAS Library, University of London)

ASAUK representative: Stephanie Kitchen – (International African Institute)
Proposed by Sarah Rhodes and seconded by Marion Wallace, committee officers and members were elected nem con.

5. Any Other Business

The SCOLMA committee will discuss the proposal for a future joint meeting with ELIAS in 2024 at its next meeting in the autumn.

Jenni Skinner, as the new Chair, closed the AGM with a few words. She acknowledged the hard work involved in hosting a successful conference and the importance going forward of getting the balance right for SCOLMA activities – a proposed seminar series, workshops and conferences. She hopes to build on SCOLMA’s online presence, and to increase membership as part of the wider national and international community of Africanist librarians and archvisits.

Sarah Rhodes, SCOLMA Secretary – 8 August 2023

Chair’s Report – SCOLMA AGM 23 June 2023

SCOLMA AGM
23 June 2023

Chair’s Report

During the past year SCOLMA has moved from operating wholly online to a hybrid format with a return to some in person events while continuing to use Zoom and Teams for meetings and other activities. For the last three years the AGM has been online. We are very pleased that some of us have been able to meet in person at SOAS today for this year’s conference and AGM while still connecting with remote participants.

2023 conference
SCOLMA did not hold a conference in 2022 when there was a limited response to our Call for Papers, perhaps caused by continuing uncertainty over travel and gatherings as a result of the pandemic. We are very pleased that today’s conference has come together to examine the critically important subject of Africa and the Environment. We are grateful to our speakers for the wide range of topics being covered; to our sponsors Taylor & Francis and Adam Matthew; to SOAS for the venue and particularly to Anna de Mutiis of the International African Institute for her technical support today. One of our speakers, Livingstone Muchefa from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, had hoped to be here in person but was unable to obtain a visa. With the assistance of our sponsors SCOLMA had planned to support his visit but we are very pleased that he will join us online.

African Research and Documentation/Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation
The first issue of Africa Bibliography, Research and Documentation, SCOLMA’s new journal in collaboration with the International African Institute, was published in the autumn of 2022 and a launch event was held at SOAS on 1 December. Munyao Kilolo of of Itu?ka and the Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and Dr Ida Hadjivayanis of SOAS participated in an ‘In conversation’ on African language publishing, translation and literature. The hybrid event attracted a good audience with questions coming from attendees on the African continent. The event was recorded and is available here.

The first volume consisted of an editorial and seven articles, two from Africa-based authors. The second volume is on schedule for publication in autumn 2023, with at least six articles and several book reviews. It will include an article from Clive Kirkwood, Mandy Noble and Michal Singer (of UCT) on What we lost in the Jagger Library Fire. Several proposals are under discussion for the 2024 volume which will also include papers from Scolma’s 2023 Conference: Africa and the Environment: Archives and Data in the Climate Emergency.

The editorial committee, consisting of Terry Barringer (editor), R.E. Bartholomew (compiler, Africa Bibliography), Stephanie Kitchen (IAI, managing editor), Barbara Spina (IAI and SCOLMA) and the Chair of SCOLMA, meets quarterly by Zoom and is in constant email contact. Editing and production routines are now established and working well.
We are grateful to the entire editorial committee and colleagues at Cambridge University Press for all their work in getting the new journal underway so successfully.

Books for the Jagger Library, University of Cape Town
Following SCOLMA’s seminar in June 2022 on the fire at the Jagger Library in Cape Town and its aftermath SCOLMA put out a call for the donation of African Studies books to replace ones destroyed in the fire. A good response was received and, in liaison with UCT librarians, 180 books were selected and sent to Oxford along with a large collection of government publications. The books were transported to South Africa as part of a shipment organised by the Borien Educational Foundation for Southern Africa (BEFSA), which regularly sends books and equipment to schools in the region, and SCOLMA raised some funds towards the shipping costs. The books arrived at UCT on 22 May.

Advocacy
In July and August 2022 SCOLMA wrote two open letters to The National Archives concerning the withdrawal from public accesso of the FCO 141 series (the migrated archives) following the discovery of insecticide contamination in the papers. SCOLMA requested better communication with key stakeholders, the reinstatement of public access to the records as soon as possible and the dissemination of the methodology and safe handling guidance developed in order to benefit other institutions with insecticide-treated materials in their collections. We hope that SCOLMA’s intervention, along with that of others, encouraged TNA to put resources into testing the papers and led to public access being restored in October. Yesterday afternoon (22 June 2023) TNA held a workshop on the historic use of insecticides in library and archive collections, a very useful outcome of this episode.

SCOLMA remains concerned about the fate of the Rhodesian Army Archive and is discussing a Freedom of Information request.

Committee meetings and seminars
SCOLMA has held two committee meetings since the last AGM, on 1 December 2022 and on 3 March 2023. The 1 December meeting was SCOLMA’s first hybrid committee meeting with seven members of the committee meeting in person at SOAS and five joining on Zoom. We are grateful to SOAS for providing a room with the necessary IT. As this format enabled colleagues with longer distances to travel to attend I am sure that we will hold more hybrid meetings in the future.

On 17 January our Programme Secretary Marion Wallace organised an online seminar with Rebecca Adams, archivist at the London Metropolitan Archives, about her work cataloguing the Africa Centre Archive there. The seminar was most informative and there was good attendance. It was recorded and is available here.

Web Site and Communications
We are indebted to Jenni Skinner, ably assisted by Charles Fonge, for managing SCOLMA’s website during another year, organising our online events and putting the recordings onto YouTube – a new venture for SCOLMA! We are fortunate to be able to call on their technical expertise and we are very pleased that Charles has agreed to take on the role of web manager.

We continue to tweet regularly and now have 673 followers on Twitter (@Scolma), a slight increase from 643 a year ago. We encourage anyone interested in SCOLMA’s activities to subscribe to our Jisc mailing list, LIS-SCOLMA, where we publicise news and events.

European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS)
The 16th ELIAS Annual Meeting took place at the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne on 30th May 2023. A number of papers looked at the theme “Images of Africa”. The event was hybrid – Jenni Skinner, Alison Metcalfe and Dawn Wright attended via Zoom.
At the Business Meeting it was agreed that the Working Group would remain the same (elections were held in 2022) with the possible addition of the host for the 2024 meeting. ELIAS will approach SCOLMA to see if they are amenable to a combined SCOLMA / ELIAS meeting to be held in the UK in 2024. The ELIAS Annual Meeting in 2025 will tie in with the next ECAS Conference in Prague.
Jos Damen reported that the ELIAS website has not yet been transferred to a new system. The website is also the ELIAS archive and a transfer would take time. One possibility is if any ELIAS member has an intern who would like to take on this task.
The ELIAS logo has not yet been used and Magali Meunier will recirculate to members in due course.

African Studies Association (UK)
I attended the ASAUK AGM in September, the Council meeting in December and sent a report to the April meeting on behalf of SCOLMA. The meetings are always very informative and useful and we are very grateful for the input of Stephanie Kitchen as ASAUK representative at our committee meetings.

Thank you and committee
The SCOLMA committee has continued to work as a strong team and I would like to thank all members for their commitment and support. I would particularly like to thank Pat Hewitt who is stepping down from the role of Treasurer after four year and has managed our finances most efficiently during a time of change, and Sarah Rhodes for her ongoing work as our reliable Secretary.

Thank you also to our other officers and representatives for their hard work during the past year: Terry Barringer, editor of Africa Bibliography Research and Documentation; Marion Wallace, Development Officer and Programme Secretary; Jenni Skinner, Web Manager; Dawn Wright, our ELIAS representative; and Stephanie Kitchen, ASAUK representative on the SCOLMA committee.

This year’s AGM sees some changes in our roles. I am grateful to Liz Haines for agreeing to take on the role of Programme Secretary and Charles Fonge for becoming Web Manager. I am particularly grateful to Jenni Skinner for taking up the mantle as Chair of SCOLMA, a role she will fill admirably.

Lucy McCann, Chair
23.06.23