About Us


UK Library & Archives Group on Africa (SCOLMA)

(Registered Charity No 325086)


SCOLMA is the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa.

We are a forum for librarians, archivists and others concerned with African studies materials in libraries and archives in the United Kingdom.
Through our various activities and institutions, we aim to provide the best possible service for academics, students and other researchers working in African studies. We publish a journal, run a directory of African studies libraries, organise conferences and seminars, and network with other librarians, archivists and researchers, in the UK, Europe, Africa and the US. We also act as an expert body providing specialist advice.

SCOLMA’S Activities:

  • Publications and online resources
    Since 1973, SCOLMA has published a journal, African Research and Documentation.
    Other publications include several editions of the SCOLMA Directory of Libraries and Special Collections on Africa. This is now online at the Africa Desk, and includes libraries across the UK and Europe with African studies collections.
    Our website and Twitter feed aim to keep you informed and updated on library and archive resources for African studies.
  • Events
    SCOLMA organises conferences and seminars on library, archive, bibliographical and publishing topics relating to Africa. We also contribute speakers and panels to other related conferences and workshops.
  • Networking
    SCOLMA is represented on the Council of the African Studies Association of the UK, and has close links with the US Africana Librarians Council.
    We are also a founder member of ELIAS (European Librarians in African Studies). Librarians and archivists with an interest in Africa are warmly invited to join the ELIAS online discussion list.
    There is also an on-line discussion list for SCOLMA members.
  • Area Specialisation Scheme
    SCOLMA seeks to monitor, co-ordinate and improve the acquisition of library materials on Africa, for example through its co-operative Area Specialisation Scheme. Participating libraries specialise in the acquisition of materials from particular areas of Africa and act as information centres.