University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Search the Collections

Visit a Collection

Home Collections The African Studies Collection Africana Digitization Project

About the Collection

Africana Digitization Project Although African studies is a relatively new discipline, the field has generated a large body of publications in the past 45 to 50 years. Most of these of course were published in garden-variety ways, in sufficient copies to remain reasonably available in today's much improved document-delivery environment. Nonetheless, there have been exceptions--materials that were published in limited, sometimes very limited, quantities, but which have produced a demand beyond the capacity of their initial print run to satisfy. In fact, fewer than ten copies were produced of the titles indicated below by an asterisk.

Digitizing these then--and others like them--will significantly enhance their accessibility. More to the point, it will make it possible for researchers in Africa to secure access to them and thereby to circumvent--if only (so far) in a modest way--the longstanding and apparently indefinitely continuing "book famine." In a way, the present project could be seen as providing a template for further and future projects here and elsewhere. While no amount of digitizing to hope to overcome this shortage, strategically based projects throughout the western world can have a discernible impact on its effects.