Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History: Africa: Primary Sources

Archive & Manuscript Collections

Images

Visual images are included in many books and articles. Several large collections of digital images are searchable, including:

News Digests & Newspapers

The contemporary accounts in newspapers are sometimes used as primary sources. A few newspapers with international coverage in our collection are:

  • The New York Times Archive: 1851-1980 - Search the contents of the newspaper. Full-text online articles are available for free for 1851 to 1922 and 1987-date. For other years, with the date and page number from your search you can locate articles on the library's microfilm - at AP 2.N657 in the Periodicals Area. There is also a printed index to The New York Times in Crumb reference at Ref AI 21.N45

  • The Times (London). We have this important international newspaper on microfilm for 1788-1997. An index is on microfilm at AP 4.T52 (1790-1905) and in paper at Ref AI 21.T46 (1906-1996)

  • News Digests are annual, or more frequent, summaries of significant news. Those in Crumb Library print collection, with call# and years available are:
    • The International Year Book. (Ref AE 5.I64) 1914-1929
    • Britannica Book of the Year. (Ref AE 5.E364) 1940-date
    • Americana Annual. (Ref AE 5.A55) 1951-1974
    • Facts on File Yearbook. (Ref D 410.F3) 1943-2000
    • Keesing's Contemporary Archive. (Ref D 410.K4) 1965-1992
    • Yearbook of World Affairs. (JX 21.Y4) 1958-1984
    • Statesman's Year-book. (JA 51.S7) 1933-date (latest years in Ref.) Chapters on each country of the world.
    • Annual Register of World Events. (Ref D 2.A7) 1958-1979
    • The United States in World Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations) (E 744.U66) 1931-40, 1945-67, 1970
  • African newspapers. African Newspapers Union List is a project to centrally identify African newspapers held in U.S. libraries.

Other publications

Magazines can also be seen as primary sources.

  • The Drum. Published in South Africa from 1951 to 1965. Indexed in Drum: an index to Africa's leading magazine (on paper - DT 1.D794). The magazine itself can be borrowed on microfilm through interlibrary loan.

  • Sources and methods in African history : spoken, written, unearthed.  (DT19 .S68 2003)

  • Non-African magazines published accounts of travels in Africa, and reports on African affairs. These can be located using paper indexes in the Crumb Reference Area, including
    • Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. (Ref AI 3.P7) Covers US and UK magazines, 1802-1906.
    • Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. (Ref AI 3.R478) Covers mainly US popular magazines, 1890-2006.
    • International Index to Periodicals. (Ref AI 3.R49). Covers English language scholarly journals, 1907-1973
    • Essay & General Literature Index. (Ref AI 3.E752) Covers collections of essays published in books, 1900-1998.
    • Index to Selected Periodicals; continued by Index to Periodical articles by and about Negroes; continued by Index to Periodical articles by and about Blacks. (Ref AI 3.O4) The magazines covered are all English-language, and mainly US publicaitions, 1950-1980.
    Examples: "A Journey in Africa" in Putnam's Monthly, v.10:57 (Sept. 1857) p.296 ; "Cameron's Journey across Africa" Harper's New Monthly Magazine v.54:324 (May 1877) p.866-879 ; "The Men and Brutes of South Africa" North American Review v.68:143 (Apr. 1849) p.265-300 - (online versions from The Making of America collection). The Making of America digital collection has two main parts: Search the Cornell MOA collection; Search the Univ. of Michigan MOA collection. Both focus on 19th century materials.

  • National Geographic Magazine. We have paper copies from 1901 to the present at G1.N27 . Search for articles in this magazine using: National Geographic Magazine Index ; or a printed index at G1.N325.

  • JSTOR has the full text of some journals devoted to Africa: for example Journal of the Royal African Society (1901-1944); and other scholarly journals of African studies.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: a guide to serials. (Ref DT 348.A1U49). This is a large directory of periodicals "issued in Western languages or in African languages that use the Roman alphabet." It includes monographic series, annual reports, yearbooks, etc; but excludes most African government publications, and newspapers and news magazines. Some of these may be available through interlibrary loan.

Primary Sources Online

Contact

Crumb Library: 315-267-2485
Crane Library: 315-267-2451

Text Us! (Mon-Fri, 10 - 4): 315-277-3730

Social Media

College Libraries

Home

SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617