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African Studies Research Guide


ATTENTION VISITING RESEARCHERS: The Liberian Collections are currently closed for research.

The IUB African Studies Research Collection consists of secondary source material found in the stacks in the East Tower of Herman B Wells Library. This material is mostly shelved according to the Library of Congress Classification Scheme, with notable exceptions being the Sample Serials Collection, and the Pamphlet Collection both of which are filed by country.

Call number ranges

Archival Collections have their own page within this guide. They are retrievable by (contacting the librarian/filling out this form).

Archival materials belonging to the African Studies Collection are consulted in the Indiana University Archives Reading Room, whose hours and policies are posted here.

Researchers using ASC materials in the IUA Reading Room will need to fill out this form and adhere to IUA Reading Room rules of conduct and materials handling.

African Studies Collection material are also selectively consulted in the Secure Reading Room, located on the first floor of Wells Library.

Rules of conduct/materials handling instructions are HERE.

The Indiana University Archives have provided a useful guide to understanding the structure/function of finding aids HERE.

Archival Collections Use Guidelines


IU African Studies Collections archival materials are consulted in the Reading Room belonging to the Indiana University Archives. African Studies Collections researchers are therefore subject to the usage guidelines, and operating hours* governing all IU Archives researchers. African Studies Collection researchers will need to register as visitors with the IU Archives at the start of their visit. An archivist will show you to your requested collection(s) and will kindly instruct you on how to properly handle the materials. 

*NB: While the IU Archives indicate that Saturday hours are available by appointment, this ONLY applies to IU Archives researchers and NOT to African Studies Collections researchers, unless the Reading Room is being opened for Archives researchers.


IU African Studies Collections archival materials on paper are held at the off-site Auxiliary Library Facility and not at Wells Library. Materials therefore, need to be requested by the librarian, in order to be delivered to the IU Archives Reading Room for consultation by researchers. Researchers wishing to use materials are asked to plan their requests very carefully, in consultation with relevant finding aids (linked at left under Archival Collections), and the librarian, and to make their requests in a timely manner.

Researchers must inform the Librarian for African Studies one week prior to their arrival of the archival materials they would like to see from off-site storage. Requests may be made by emailing the librarian at African Studies Collection. When you email, please include the collection number and the box(es) you would like to see. For example: IULC022, Boxes 43, 47, and 52. 


While we do not provide scanning/photocopying services to users, researchers are welcome to use their own equipment to take photographs of archival material. Scanning of paper material may be done on a very limited basis, pending favorable material condition. Researchers are asked to plan enough time to consult material on-site.