African Studies Books

The monograph collection on African Studies comprises over 67,000 volumes, not counting pamphlets, and includes over 7,000 titles of early "Africana" published before 1925, although this term is no longer used. Focus areas for collection building include, but are not limited to, gender studies, media studies, HIV/AIDS, and the debate around the study of Africa.

There is a strong collection both about and in Southern African indigenous languages, donated in the 1950s, which, aside from dictionaries and grammars, also includes some religious texts and school textbooks. Many of these titles, published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are hard to find. The collection includes books in French and Portuguese, Swahili and Yoruba, and many scholarly and literary titles published in African countries by local publishing houses.

Special Collections staff members continue actively to build this collection, in some cases travelling to countries to acquire items, in order to support UCT’s vision of itself as "a world class African university". Books in this collection carry the prefixes BA or BAA in front of their shelf numbers.