(UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa)

Minutes of the 57th Annual General Meeting held at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, on Monday 10th June 2019 during the annual conference, ‘Decolonising African Studies: questions and dilemmas for libraries archives and collections.


Present: Patricia Hewitt, Alison Metcalfe, Sarah Rhodes, Marion Wallace, Dawn Wright, Charles Fonge, Jenni Skinner, Mandy Banton, Stephanie Kitchen, Julia de Mowbray


Apologies were received from Barbara Spina, Terry Barringer, and Lucy McCann


1. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the 56th Annual General Meeting (posted on the SCOLMA website were approved as a true and complete record.


2. Report of the Chair

The Chair’s report was presented by Marion Wallace on behalf of Lucy McCann.   She commented on the success of the 2018 Annual Conference held in Birmingham (‘Things Come Together?: Literary Archives from, in and for Africa’) which drew in speakers and participants from Africa, Europe, the US and the UK.  She thanked the University of Edinburgh, ASAUK and Taylor and Francis for their support for the 2019 Conference, and the speakers for the wide range of interesting subjects covered. In particular she thanked Rohan Jackson, the ECAS 2019 Conference Administrator, who had been invaluable in making the practical arrangements on SCOLMA’s behalf.

The Printing Place continued to make an excellent job of producing ARD and we are pleased that number 133 has been published containing some of the papers from last year’s conference on African literary archives.  Number 134, with further conference papers is at the printers now.   The next (special) issue will focus on archives in Ethiopian Studies in conjunction with Dr Sophia Thubauville from the Frobenius-Institute, Frankfurt.  There will be future discussions to consider making ARD available online.

SCOLMA has continued its usual activities, including regular involvement with ELIAS and ASAUK, holding seminars and maintaining its website.  It was noted that SCOLMA had voiced its concern with an open letter to Baroness Amos in regard to the proposed cuts to SOAS Library, which houses one of the most important African collections in the UK.

Committee members were thanked for their contributions and enthusiasm over the year.  In particular Alison Metcalfe, SCOLMA Treasurer, who has kept our finances in good order and will be stepping down this year.  Marion Wallace also gave the Committee’s thanks to Lucy McCann for her unstinting tenure as Chair over the past five years as she also prepared to step down.

The full report is attached below.


3. Financial statement and approval of audited accounts

The Treasurer, Alison Metcalfe, gave her report on the audited accounts for 2018.  It was noted that income from both conference registrations and ARD subscriptions was up on the previous year.  Subscriptions were up substantially on 2017, when income had been low due to delays with ARD publication. A good number of subscriptions have now been renewed. Work is ongoing to chase outstanding subscriptions.

Conference income for 2018 was also up on the previous year, due largely to generous support from our sponsors.  This enabled SCOLMA to provide funding for the keynote speaker and support two speakers coming from Africa.  Peter Westley has agreed to produce the audited accounts for 2019, at the same fee as previous years.

The report on expenditure was as follows. Printing and distribution costs were lower than in 2017, although the same number of issues of ARD (three) were produced in 2018.  Some work has been carried out to calculate an average cost of printing per copy to inform future discussions about the costs of printing ARD, and a possible revision of subscription fees.

Administration and editorial expenses were lower in 2018, as 2017 had included several years’ worth of web maintenance fees.  Now up to date, these should remain fairly static in 2019.

Conference expenditure was substantially higher in 2018 as a result of providing support to a number of speakers, as described above.

2019 update:  ARD – The second and final issue for 2018 is due to be published very soon, bringing ARD back on track. The cost of printing and distribution against subscription income means that subscription price revision for 2020 should be considered in order that the journal can continue to cover its costs. This would be the first review since 2013.

The balance of account has increased since the 2017 AGM.  Outstanding costs include the web maintenance fee, editor’s honorarium, and conference charges. The balance of account at 7th June 2019 – £14,155.82.

The approval of the accounts was proposed by Patricia Hewitt, seconded by Charles Fonge, and passed unanimously. Peter Westley was reappointed as auditor, proposed by Alison Metcalfe, seconded by Stephanie Kitchen and agreed unanimously.


4. Appointment of Officers and Committee

The following nominations have been received


Chair – Marion Wallace, British Library

Secretary – Sarah Rhodes, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Treasurer – Patricia Hewitt, Robert Sainsbury Library, university of East Anglia

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]


Charles Fonge, Borthwick Institute, University of York (elected 2018)

Lucy McCann, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Alison Metcalfe, National Library of Scotland

Katie Sambrook, King’s College London (elected 2018)

Nicky Sugar (Bristol Archives) (elected 2017)


Barbara Spina (individual member)

Dawn Wright, SOAS Library

Proposed by Dawn Wright, seconded by Jenni Skinner. These were elected nem con

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

It was noted that Marion Wallace would act as Chair for one year in the first instance.


5. Any other business

It was proposed by Alison Metcalfe and seconded by Sarah Rhodes to increase, from 2020, individual ARD subscription rates from £45 to £50, and institutional rates from £55 to £60 per annum.  It was deemed necessary to ensure that costs would be covered going forward.


Secretary: Sarah Rhodes (

13 June 2019

No comments yet

Comments are closed

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.