The African holdings emphasize history, politics, economics and economic development, colonial administration and military affairs, national liberation movements, and political and social movements, including communism and socialism. Inter-African and international relations are also represented. The colonial period is particularly well documented by legislative debates, journals, government commission reports, and early government gazettes spanning the early 1900s to the early 1960s.
The Hoover Library holds an extensive collection of government documents for the colonial period as well as some significant archival collections and other published materials from French Colonial Africa. Coverage also includes Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
CLAUDE EMERSON WELCH COLLECTION - Research materials for Welch’s book, Dream of Unity (1966)
WILLIAM D. MORELAND PAPERS - US diplomat; consul, Dakar, Senegal, 1949–51
AFRIQUE FRANÇAISE LIBRE MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS - Materials relating to Free French military in World War II
VIRGINIA MCLEAN THOMPSON AND RICHARD ADLOFF PAPERS - US historians
MALAGASY SUBJECT COLLECTION - Miscellaneous materials
COMORIAN SUBJECT COLLECTION - Miscellaneous materials
AFRICAN SUBJECT COLLECTION - Miscellaneous materials
Holdings are strong on Southern Africa, including the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. In particular, the collections contain material dealing with the colonial period, especially economic policy, and the national liberation movements. Guinea-Bissau (Portuguese Guinea) is also well documented.
KEITH MIDDLEMAS COLLECTION - British historian
THOMAS H. HENRIKSEN PAPERS - US historian
DAVID GRENFELL REPORTS - British missionary in the Congo, 1963–70
MANUEL LOPES DE MENDONÇA PAPERS - Commander, Portuguese navy
SYBIL MACKENZIE VIDEO TAPE COLLECTION - Relates to the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana in Mozambique
PARTIDO AFRICANO DA INDEPENDÊNCIA DA GUINÉ E CABO VERDE SOUND RECORDING: STEH AUF, SKLAVE! LIEDER DER KAOGUIAMO (KULTURGRUPPE DER PAIGC) - Protest songs from Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde islands
The Hoover Institution has long sought to collect, preserve, and make available to the scholarly community Africa's rich historical past. Colonialism in Africa under the European powers had been the major focus of collecting until 1960, when the acquisition program began to cover the struggle for independence; after independence, African internal affairs, politics, and economic studies became major collecting areas for the Hoover Institution.
The Africa Collection had its beginnings in 1919, when the Belgian government presented Herbert Hoover with a collection of official Belgian documents and reports, many pertaining to the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. Nina Almond, head librarian in the 1920s, expanded the collection, acquiring League of Nations Mandates Commission reports, African government official gazettes, and colonial government annual reports. Ruth Perry, appointed curator in 1956, further expanded the Institution's African holdings, particularly with materials acquired on trips to Ghana and Nigeria. In 1959, historian Peter Duignan became the collection's first full-time curator, signaling a significant increase in library and archival holdings, especially of materials produced in Africa. A major collecting effort to document further all aspects of colonialism and of the struggles of black South Africans to be free began in 1960.
Colonialism in Africa under the European powers had been the major focus of collecting until 1960, when the acquisition program began to cover the struggle for independence; after independence, African internal affairs, politics, and economic studies became major collecting areas for the Hoover Institution. Publications documenting Lusophone Africa (from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique) were strengthened in the 1960s with the acquisition of material from Richard Hammond, then a researcher with Stanford's Food Research Institute, and from acquisitions trips by Curator Duignan and Ronald Chilcote, a Stanford lecturer. In 1976, with the establishment of the Hanna Collection on the role of education in twentieth-century society, acquisitions of publications on education as it relates to political and social developments in African countries increased. Liberation movement publications and documents from political parties and other advocacy organizations continue to be collected from all of sub-Saharan Africa.
With the transfer to the Stanford University Library of collecting responsibilities for books, serials, newspapers, journals, and all government documents, the Hoover Library and Archives have stopped collecting in those areas, limiting its collecting activities to archival materials and political ephemera.
Peter Duignan served as curator for the Africa Collection until 1995, when he became curator emeritus. He was also curator for Stanford University's Africa Collection at Green Library, and assisted Stanford's branch and other coordinate libraries by referring titles to them so that Africana materials were acquired in all fields. Karen Fung, who joined the Hoover Library in 1966, was the deputy curator until she moved in 2002 to the Stanford University Green Library.
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