HIST R1B: Reconstructing the African Past

Primary Sources

  • African Newspapers (from the World Newspaper Archive)
    Includes over 60 full-text searchable historical newspapers published in Sub-Saharan Africa prior to 1923. Most titles are in English, with some coverage in African and other European languages.
  • allAfrica.com
    Contains over 700,000 articles from 120 news publications throughout Africa. Also includes press releases and documents from 200 governments and non-governmental organizations in and outside of Africa. 30% of articles are in French.
  • Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA)
    A free online scholarly resource primarily covering the anti-apartheid liberation struggles in South Africa from 1950 to 1994. Includes primary and some secondary resources from books and journals to photographs, pamphlets, oral histories and correspondences for researching South African history, politics, and society.
  • eHRAF World Cultures
    Indexes mostly primary source material on cultures or societies representing all major areas of the world. Includes many rare sources as well as English translations of foreign texts.
  • Empire Online
    Includes 70,000 images of original manuscript and printed documents to support study and research in the field of colonial and empire studies. Five sections include: Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969; Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; The Visible Empire; Religion and Empire; and Race, Class, Imperialism and Colonialism, c. 1607-1969 (coming soon). In addition to original documents, this database contains scholarly essays and analysis.
  • Ethnographic Video Online
    A growing collection (currently more than 400 titles) of classic and contemporary ethnographic films, with wide-ranging coverage of the world's regions and cultures, and by some of the most influential filmmakers of the genre. The films explore key themes in anthropology and the broader social sciences, including language and culture, family and kinship, sex and gender, social stratification and status, music and the arts, and religion.
  • Slavery and Anti-Slavery
    Includes more than 1.5 million pages, 7000+ books, 80+ serials, 15 manuscript collections as well as court records and reference materials documents related to the antebellum era. Published through partnerships with the Amistad Research Center, Oberlin College, Oxford University, & many other institutions
  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (Voyages)
    Primary resource documenting the African slave trade. Includes detailed information concerning over 35,000 voyages from 1514 to 1866 with names, statistics, images and other information.
  • Visual Collections: Images of Art, History and Culture
    Includes more than 30,000 images from some 35 image collections from museums, universities and private collections throughout the world in the areas of cartography, fine arts, architecture, and photography. Some of the collections included are free and open to the public; others are restricted to educational use only or on a subscription basis only. Among the collections included are: USF Rare Map Collection, MOAC (Museums and Online Archive of California), Japanese Historical Maps Catena Historic Gardens and Landscapes Archive and many more. [Note: This collection can be viewed in two ways: the Insight Browser allows users to view the collection using a web browser; the Luna Insight software provides greater functionality but must be downloaded.]


The UC Berkeley Libraries has an extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers. The Africana Microform Collections Guide lists a large selection of Berkeley's holdings that include many primary source materials.

The Newspapers and Microforms Department (40 Doe Library) has machines that read, print, and scan images from microfilm and microfiche.

  Microfilm and microfiche owned by the UC Berkeley Libraries can be found through OskiCat; use Advanced Keyword Search to limit your search to "All Microforms." In the News/Micro collection, microfilm rolls and microfiche cards are shelved with their own numbering system; click here for a PDF of the collection's floorplan.

Last Update: May 21, 2013 13:57 | Tagged with: African Studies history anthropology