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Colonial states and African societies: Government Gazettes

Resources for the study of African colonial history including Belgian, British, and French colonial history.

Government Gazettes

African Government Gazettes

African government gazettes are like the U.S. Federal Register.  Not like the Congressional Record which is similar to the British African government Hansards or Parliamentary Debates. However some early government gazettes carried minutes of legislative meetings. African gazettes contain the texts of new laws, decrees, regulations, international treaties, legal notices, court decisions, government appointments, etc.

To find Stanford's print African government gazettes. In Searchworks Advanced

  1. put in the country / government entity name as the Author
  2. put in gazette, journal officiel, boletim, bollettino, etc. as the Title depending on the language of the country
  3. for areas under two colonial governments such as Somalia and British Somaliland, you would use Bollettino and Gazette as the title for the respective govt.

Example -
Author: Gold Coast
Title: gazette

Hoover Library.  Library has: [1917-37]; [1947-57]//
Call Number: G.D. GOLD COAST


Gazettes Africa
Full text of African gazettes online. A project of Laws.Africa and AfricanLII.

Colonial Law in Africa, 1808-1919
East Ardsley, Wakefield : Microform Academic Publishers, 2017

This database consists of the Government Gazettes of each country below.

The Gambia, 1883-1919
Ghana (Gold Coast), 1876-1919
Kenya, 1899-1919
Malawi (Nyasaland), 1899-1919
Nigeria (Lagos), 1887-1919
Sierra Leone, 1818-1919
Tanzania (Zanzibar), 1892-1919
Uganda, 1908-1919
Zambia (Northern Rhodesia), 1899-1919
Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), 1894-1919


Colonial Law in Africa, 1920-1945
East Ardsley, Wakefield : Microform Academic Publishers, 2017

The Gambia, 1920-1945
Ghana (Gold Coast), 1920-1945
Kenya, 1920-1945
Malawi (Nyasaland), 1920-1945
Nigeria (Lagos), 1920-1945
Sierra Leone, 1920-1945
Tanzania (Tanganyika), 1920-1945
Tanzania (Zanzibar), 1920-1945
Uganda Gazette, 1920-1945
Zambia (Northern Rhodesia), 1920-1945
Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), 1920-1945


Colonial Law in Africa, 1946-1966 
East Ardsley, Wakefield : Microform Academic Publishers, 2017

The Gambia, 1946-1965
Ghana (Gold Coast), 1946-1957
Kenya, 1946-1963
Lesotho (Basutoland), 1960-1966
Malawi (Nyasaland), 1946-1964
Nigeria (Lagos), 1946-1951
Sierra Leone, 1946-1961
Zambia (Northern Rhodesia), 1946-1964
Tanzania (Tanganyika), 1946-1961
Tanzania (Zanzibar), 1946-1963
Uganda, 1946-1962
Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), 1953-1963



The Center for Research Libraries has microflim of government gazettes from several countries. One example is -
Government publications relating to Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1963, and to the
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1953-1963 [
electronic resource] /
introduction by Andrew Roberts
11 pages Finding aid for a huge microform collection at the Center for Research Libraries.
Includes British South African Company documents, the Government Gazettes,
Annual reports, Command papers, Official yearbooks, trade annuals.

The Center for Research Libraries (in Chicago) also has digitized selected African gazettes from Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.


Gallica. Bibliotheque Nationale de France 
Has online gazettes / journal officielles from the French colonies.


Google - Kenya Gazette 1890 to c 2012
[Kenya Law has 2005-2022]


LLMC Digital (Law Library Microform Consortium)
Access to documents by subscription only (Stanford has a subscription.)  Full text books, pamphlets, laws, law reports, official gazettes, government documents, includes African countries, selected British command papers, British Colonial Office annual reports, treaties, papers from the Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, Cape Colony documents, etc. Based in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
For African government gazettes, see Online Services, Browse Collections, Special Focus Collections, then Foreign Official Gazettes.



Hathi Trust Digital Library
Has some government gazettes. To find them, use the Advanced Catalog Search. Put in the country name as Author. Put in Gazette as Title or relevant word in the country’s language.

Author Senegal 
Title Journal official