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Research Guides

About This Guide


"The Conversation," oil (1963), by Eli Kyeyune (Uganda). Contemporary African Art Select List number 116. National Archives and Records Administration

These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the African Studies collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus).  For questions or more information, please contact the African Studies Librarian.

Photo: Timeless Books by Lin Kristensen

UW Libraries: Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.

Subject Definition

African Studies is the interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge regarding the interactions among the social, economic, cultural, historical, linguistic, genetic, geopolitical, ecological, and biomedical factors that shape African societies

Scholarship in African Studies is distinguished by a reliance on both primary collections (contemporary and historical documents, images and other material) and secondary collections (interpretations and analyses published in scholarly monographs and journal literature).

The collection primarily supports the curriculum and research of the University of Washington's African Studies Program. The collection also supports the interdisciplinary needs of other UW departments and programs.

Subject Classification

African Studies is by its nature an interdisciplinary field, and the collections supporting it range widely and can be found among several Library of Congress (LC) classes. Some LC classes for African Studies:

  • DT348-363.3 (Central Sub-Saharan Africa)
  • DT 365-469 Eastern Africa
  • DT 470-671 West Africa
  • DT 1701-2405 South Africa
  • HC Africa - Economic conditions
  • JQ Political institutions & public administration - Africa
  • JV Colonies & colonization
  • PL 8000-8844 African language and literature

Some sample subject headings where African Studies materials can be found include (under the continent or under individual countries):

  • Africa -- Economic conditions
  • Africa -- Politics and government
  • Africa -- Social conditions
  • Africa, West -- Economic conditions
  • Africa, West -- Social conditions
  • Apartheid -- South Africa
  • Economic development -- Africa
  • Economic policy -- Africa
  • Economic policy -- Nigeria
  • Foreign investment -- Africa
  • Human rights -- South Africa
  • Cameroon -- Politics and government
  • Liberia -- Economic conditions