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The importance of African archives: how African archives strengthen research 
Jos Damen (African Studies Centre Leiden)
Fabrice Melka (Institut des mondes africains (IMAF-CNRS))
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History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 16
Thursday 1 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel aims to show the connections between African archives and Africanist research. Contributions will focus on content, control, cooperation, metadata, open access, platforms, transcription and digitisation, as well as the way researchers approach and also create archives.

Long Abstract:

African archives are no different from other archives. At the same time, the costs of conserving and making archives available to the public adds a layer of complexity. This panel seeks to elaborate two positions. On the one hand, archivists and librarians decide which archives are kept, how they are opened up and how access is arranged. On the other hand, researchers ask questions about the content of archives. Several new developments have taken place in recent decades, including the direct involvement of the public in making archives accessible. Activities range from collaborative transcriptions (e.g. Transcrire / Raymond Mauny) to digitising archives (e.g. Zambia mining archives MUZ/IISG), and from crowd sourcing (e.g. Dutch slave registers) to the use of Wikimedia Commons for historic photos from Africa. Digitisation opens up new doors - to a new audience.

This panel seeks to view African archives from different positions and poses several questions - about the power of archives, and about new avenues of access for researchers and the wider public.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -