African Studies in the Digital Age

DisConnects?

African Studies in the Digital Age. DisConnects? seeks to understand the complex changes brought about by the digital revolution. The editors, Terry Barringer and Marion Wallace, have brought together librarians, archivists, researchers and academics from three continents to analyse the creation and use of digital research resources and archives in and about Africa. The volume reveals new opportunities for research, teaching and access, as well as potential problems and digital divides. Published under the aegis of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), this new work is a major step forward in understanding the impact of the Internet Age for the study of Africa, in and beyond the continent.


Contributors are: Terry Barringer, Hartmut Bergenthum, Natalie Bond, Mirjam de Bruijn, Ian Cooke, Jos Damen, Jonathan Harle, Diana Jeater, Rebecca Kahn, Peter Limb, Lucia Lovison-Golob, Walter Gam Nkwi, Jenni Orme, Daniel A. Reboussin, Ashley Rockenbach, Amidu Sanni, Simon Tanner, Edgar C. Taylor, Laurie N. Taylor, Marion Wallace, Massimo Zaccaria
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Biographical Note

Terry Barringer is a bibliographer who has worked for many years on African and Commonwealth materials. She is editor of SCOLMA's journal, African Research and Documentation, and has published on missionary periodicals and the British Colonial Service.

Marion Wallace is Africa Curator at the British Library. She holds a PhD in the history of Namibia, on which subject she continues to write and publish. She was Chair of SCOLMA from 2011 to 2014.

'Published to mark the 50th anniversary of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), and based on papers presented at its Golden Jubilee conference in Oxford in 2012, this collection of essays seeks to understand the complex changes brought about by the digital revolution, and the impact of the Internet age for the study of Africa, in and beyond the continent'.

'Many other insightful papers, by librarians, archivists, researchers and academics from three continents, analyse the creation and use of digital research resources and archives in and about Africa, exploring the new opportunities for research, issues of teaching and access, making online resources more equitably available, as well as drawing attention to the potential problems and digital divides'.

'An essential acquisition for all African studies collections'.

Hans M. Zell, in The African Book Publishing Record, Volume 41, no. 3 (2015)


'This quietly subversive little volume of papers from a conference to report progress by African’s digital libraries is full of facts to explode stereotypes about Africa in the information age'.

Martin Mulligan, Writer and Journalism Consultant, in: The Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, April 2015.

About the Contributors
List of Illustrations
Abbreviations

Introduction
Terry Barringer, Jos Damen, Peter Limb and Marion Wallace

Part 1 Access, Research and Researchers

1 African Studies in the Digital Age - Challenges for Research and National Libraries
Ian Cooke and Marion Wallace

2 Dazzled by Digital?
Research Environments in African Universities and Their Implications for the Use of Digital Resources
Jonathan Harle

3 Data, Data Everywhere, But Not a Byte to Think
The Pitfalls of Increased Access to Digital Resources in University History Departments in Zimbabwe
Diana Jeater

4 Improving Digital Collection Access with Simple Search Engine Optimisation Strategies
Daniel A. Reboussin and Laurie N. Taylor

Part 2 Archives and Memory

5 Building Futures
The Role of Digital Collections in Shaping National Identity in Africa
Rebecca Kahn and Simon Tanner

6 The West African Manuscript Heritage - Challenges of the Digital Revolution in a Research Economy
Amidu Sanni

7 Recovering the African Printed Past - Virtually Re-membering a Dispersed Collection in Eritrea
Massimo Zaccaria

8 Archives and the Past - Cataloguing and Digitisation in Uganda’s Archives
Edgar C. Taylor, Ashley Brooke Rockenbach and Natalie Bond

9 ‘Life is so Summarised’ - Society’s Memory in the Digital Age in Africa
Mirjam de Bruijn and Walter Gam Nkwi

Part 3 Building on Digital

10 African Newspapers in the Online World - Information Gains and Losses
Hartmut Bergenthum

11 Viewing ‘Africa Through a Lens’
Using Digitisation and Online Tools at The National Archives (uk) to Widen Audience Reach
Jenni Orme

12 The Integration of Historical Cartography into the Present Day - The Darfur Case
Lucia Lovison-Golob

Concluding Remarks
Peter Limb

Appendix: Programme of scolma’s 50th anniversary conference
Index of Subjects

Scholars in all branches of African studies concerned with the availabilty and effective use of digital resources in teaching and research; librarians; archivists; information managers; scholars in the digital humanities.

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