Resources on and near campus

  • University of Chicago African studies library guide. Maintained by subject specialist Ellen Bryan, this is a guide to resources for African Studies research available to University of Chicago students both on and off campus.
  • Center for Research Libraries collection guideA collection of African-related resources contains a wide variety of newspapers, monographs, archival collections, serials, government publications, and dissertations, spanning four centuries and covering virtually every country in Africa.
  • CIC CourseShare Language offerings. As of Autumn 2015, the University of Chicago is strengthing its language offerings by being an active member of the CIC CourseShare initiative. These courses combine in-person and remote students via Skype. Course offerings include Zulu, Wolof, Yoruba, Bamana, Mandinka, and Malagasy.


  • Colonial Film Database. This website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 films are available for viewing online. You can search or browse for films by country, date, topic, or keyword. Over 350 of the most important films in the catalogue are presented with extensive critical notes written by our academic research team.
  • French National Audiovisual Institute. In French. The Institut national de l'audiovisuel is a collection of French radio and television audiovisual archives, many of which are availble online. They sport a large collection of images and audio related to historical and contemporary francophone Africa. 
  • British Library: Africa music collection. Includes: Decca West African recordings, Dinka songs from South Sudan, Jola music recorded in January and February 1982 in The Gambia and Senegal, Recordings of the !Ko Bushmen (San) of the Kalahari, field recordings made in Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal, Dagaare recreational songs and dances from Nandom in northwestern Ghana, recordings from Guinea's Syliphone record label, and more.

Material culture

  • Commemorative Fabrics from Africa. Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this is an online collection of machine-made commemorative textiles from various African countries. This collection provides researchers access to digitized fabrics that are printed with images and text documenting events and individuals of historical, political, religious, economic, educational, and sociological significance to African societies.
  • Africana Posters. Completed in 2011, this Northwestern project unveiled two of the most significant poster collections held in the United States concerning issues related to the study of Africa. The posters represent a variety of social, political, and cultural issues, including public health, education, liberation and independence, political campaigns, the anti-apartheid movement, Biafra, Darfur, economics, art, publishing, and music. Through these collections, scholars and students can explore how institutions and organizations communicated with African populations from the mid 19th century through the present day.
  • Banknote World. Images and information on more than 18,000 past and present notes. 
  • The African Collection at the Art Insitute of Chicago. The Art Institute’s African collection includes over 400 works that highlight the diversity of tradition-based arts on the continent, with emphasis on the sculptural traditions of West and Central Africa. Included are masks and figural sculpture, beadwork, furniture, regalia, and textiles from countries including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. The Art Institute’s collection of over 80 African ceramics is the largest in an American art museum. Images of selected works available here. 

Maps: historical and contemporary

Other collections of links and resources

Other Africa-related resources and departments in Chicago

Going to Africa?

You can update your immunizations and find out more information about the health requirements of traveling abroad at the University of Chicago's Travel Clinic