IU’s Liberian Collections include historical and ethnographic documents, newspapers, government publications, books, journals, dissertations, maps, slides, negatives, photographs, microfilms, audio & video tapes, artifacts, and memorabilia.
During the early 1990s, Ruth Stone, then director of the Archives of Traditional Music (ATM) of Indiana University (IU), began amassing a collection of documents and other related materials on Liberia from fellow scholars in the field. Early deposits of Liberian materials came from William Siegmann, Jane Martin, Jeanette Carter, and John and Judy Gay, creating an informal, but quickly growing collection.
The IU Liberian Collections was formally established as an IU organization in 2002, and became part of the IU Libraries' African Studies Collection in 2013. Currently, the collections are being processed and made ready for public access and study through the internet and at the IU Libraries' African Studies Collection.
The Liberian Collections Photograph Collections consist of over 30,000 images from the 1940s to the present. Photographers include Liberian and American government officials and employees, private citizens, missionaries, development workers, concessions employees and ethnographic researchers.
The core Liberian Collections photograph collections are linked below.
In addition to photographic material, the Liberian Collections comprise a diverse range of materials including audio music recordings, historical and ethnographic documents. The constitutive collections are stored in over 500 boxes at the Auxiliary Library Facility. Some audio materials are now available by appointment to scholars at the ATM Listening Library, and some print materials can be requested via IUCAT for use in the Archives Reading Room. As the materials are processed and indexed, more will be made available for research use.
The core collections of the Liberian Collections are linked below.