Author Archives: Yuusuf Caruso

About Yuusuf Caruso

African Studies Librarian

Colonial Law in Africa — New Online Primary Resource at Columbia

Columbia University Libraries has acquired a new online primary resource:

Colonial Law in Africa: African Government Gazettes, 1808-1919 and 1920-1945

An extensive collection of “digitized” legal records on British colonial African territories, covering the 19th and 20th centuries, selected from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and part of the “British Online Archives” series from Microform Academic Publishers.

Columbia faculty, students, and other library patrons with borrowing privileges, can now access the first two parts of this collection of government gazettes and legal notices which are relevant to research on the impact of the Napoleonic Wars, the Boer War, the First World War, the abolition of the legal status of slavery, the transfer of Southern Rhodesia from the British South Africa Company to formal colonial rule, the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Tanganyika and Zanzibar, and on British colonial policies during the Second World War throughout Africa.

Part I: 1808-1919

Part II: 1920-1945

*NOTE: This collection complements the British colonial “African Blue Books, 1821-1953.” ; as well as, “Retrospective Government Gazettes” of South Africa, 1910-1993

“Imagining the World: Unexplored Global Collections at Columbia”

Imagining the World 7Opening the week of April 4, 2016, in the Chang Octagon of The Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, a new exhibition will offer researchers an opportunity to view a sampling of the rare and the unusual in Columbia’s Global Studies collections.  The items on display until June 24, range in date from 1454 CE to 2014 CE, in a variety of formats, including books, manuscripts, maps, photos, posters, scrolls, sheet music, stamps, and typescripts, and encompassing more than 19 languages or scripts:  Arabic, Czech, English, French, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Latin, Malayalam, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, Tamil, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Wolof.  This small exhibit represents only a fraction of what is collected by the Libraries to support global studies research and teaching.

A reception to celebrate the exhibition, with refreshments and keynote speaker Avinoam Shalem, Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam, will be held in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 5:30-7:00 pm

 

Trial Access to British Online Archives–African Blue Books, 1821-1953

British Online Archives: African Blue Books, 1821-1953
http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio11610507

Beginning October 21, 2015, researchers at Columbia University Libraries can take advantage of a month-long, trial access to an important source for the economic and political history of the colonial era in the former British colonial territories of Africa: “The Blue Book was a key item of considerable standing in 19th century colonial administration. With a particular focus on the latter nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the focus of these Blue Books is upon economic development; imports, exports and each territory’s balance sheets are a recurring theme throughout. Ecclesiastical records, public works and population statistics are also common themes.”

Please forward comments and evaluation remarks to Yuusuf Caruso (caruso@columbia.edu).

The trial will run though November 19, 2015.

News and Views on President Obama’s 2015 Trip to Kenya and Ethiopia

For a short list of “open access” articles and essays reflecting a wide range of approaches to the first visit by a sitting American president to both Kenya and Ethiopia and the first speech by an American president to be made at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, see the selections on offer from Columbia University Libraries’ “African Studies Virtual Library.”  There are also links to other aspects of recent US foreign policies toward Africa.

British records on “Apartheid South Africa” boosts primary resources on South Africa

Columbia faculty and students can now access the full text of digitized selected documents from the British National Archives on South Africa during the “apartheid” era.  The “Archives Direct” collection on South Africa from Adam Matthew includes files from the Foreign, Colonial, Dominion and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices spanning the period 1948 to 1980; divided into three sections: 1948-1966, 1967-1975, and 1976-1980.  For more details, see:  Nature and scope of the collection.

This new digital resource complements other “primary resource” materials relating to 20th century South Africa and the southern Africa region available to researchers at Columbia, including: Aluka–The Struggle for Liberation in Southern Africa South African Government Gazettes–1910-1993 and 1994 to the Present ; Digital National Security Archive: South Africa: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1962-1989 ; The Gay J. MacDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers ; and, The Papers of The Committee for Health in Southern Africa.

For earlier historical periods, researchers at Columbia can search other “online” sources in Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966 ; Nineteenth Century Collections: Europe and Africa ; and, World Newspaper Archive–African newspapers before 1923.

A “subject” search in CLIO, using the terms “South Africa Sources”, will provide a greater sense of the “primary resource” offerings on South Africa at Columbia in print, microform, and electronic formats.

Government Gazettes of South Africa, 1910 to the present

Columbia University Libraries now subscribes, courtesy of Sabinet,  to digitized full text versions of South African government gazettes, from 1910 to the present.  All current Columbia faculty and students can access and search the three online collections (on or off campus).

Retrospective Gazettes of South Africa, 1910-1993
http://clio.columbia.edu/databases/10425697

Government Gazettes of South Africa, January 1994 to present
http://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/10425708

Provincial Gazettes of South Africa, September 1995 to present
http://clio.columbia.edu/databases/10472679

Columbia Acquires The Gay J. McDougall Papers on Southern Africa

Columbia University Libraries’ Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Gay J. McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers and the records of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project.

Ms. McDougall served as the Director of the Southern Africa Project for 14 years and was the only American to be appointed to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). The IEC was the South African governmental body established through the multi-party negotiations to set policy and administer the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, resulting in the election of President Nelson Mandela and the transition from apartheid.

The McDougall papers contain unique documentation of the activities and decisions of the IEC from the perspective of a member of the Commission and reveal a day-by-day detailed picture of the challenges confronted by the commission in mounting South Africa’s first democratic elections.”For nearly two decades, I was privileged to have a front-row seat to one of the greatest human dramas of the twentieth century: the defeat of apartheid,” said Ms. McDougall. “I was also fortunate to be able to play a substantive role in that struggle. I hope that the donation of my papers to Columbia will increase the chance that future scholars will benefit from the lessons of that victory.”

The papers document a pivotal period between 1980-1994 when Ms. McDougall and lawyers in South Africa and Namibia collaborated on the defense of and gained the release of  thousands of political prisoners and detainees imprisoned during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and Namibia. Among the papers is a collection of nearly 100 files on the trials of the political activists supported by the Southern Africa Project including non-confidential communications between Ms. McDougall and the lawyers representing those activists.  Additionally, the papers document Ms. McDougall’s role in the United States-based anti-apartheid movement and the international networking that took place among activists, including efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy. Other key events and topics reflected in the collections include the establishment of the Commission on Independence for Namibia, and the development of judicial and constitutional norms, institutions, and legislation during the post-apartheid transitional period.

The Gay J. McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers include correspondence, memoranda, photographs, videos, ephemera such as election ballots, original local news coverage, and  Ms. McDougall’s diaries from trips to South Africa, Namibia and the Frontline States. Unique collections of publications by South African organizations including books, reports and briefing papers are also part of this remarkable collection. “Scholars and students researching the history of South Africa and Namibia during the final decade of apartheid and the transition years 1990-1994 will find that these papers are a treasure trove of information,” stated Professor Gail Gerhart, editor of the book series From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1990.   “Columbia is privileged to receive this collection assembled by Gay McDougall, a major figure in the international antiapartheid movement.”

***Please note that research access to The Gay MacDougall Papers collection will not be possible until April 2014 or soon thereafter.

The Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research supports the community of teachers, students, researchers, and law and social justice advocates working in the multidisciplinary sphere of human rights.

For more about the Center:: http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/humanrights.html

For more information about the African studies collections at Columbia: http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/global/africa.html

New e-resources on Africa at Columbia

Two new exciting resources on Africa are available to researchers at Columbia.

Faculty and students at Columbia can now access "Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966,"  published by Adam Matthew.  This digital collection features selected documents from the British Foreign and Colonial Office records held at the National Archives in Kew.  "Spanning the full era of the modern European colonization of Africa, from the occupation of Algeria by France, through increasing British presence on the west African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope in the south, the Berlin Conference which set off the 'Scramble for Africa', the high-water mark of economic exploitation of Africans in the Congo Free State, rivalries amongst European powers and the era of withdrawal that followed the Second World War."  Look for it in CLIO, under recommended databases on the home page for African Studies, or search for it on LibraryWeb under "Databases".

A new Internet resources guide on "Energy in Africa" has been published at Columbia. The guide features annotated links to information and research on energy, fossil fuels, power, and sustainable renewables. The list is organized into the following categories: e-news and e-journals, African Ministries of Energy, US government, international organizations, and research institutes.

Columbia University Libraries' research collections on Africa south of the Sahara contain over 126,000 book titles & over 1,700 current serials in history, political science, law, sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, geoscience, literature, ethnomusiciology, and the visual arts. For more details, see: "Basic Guide to African Studies Research at Columbia".   Visit the African Studies Reading Room in 607 Butler Library, a non-circulating collection on African history and the humanities.  See also, Columbia's African Studies Internet Resources — Virtual Library.