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African Studies Resources for Stanford Researchers: African Studies Background Resources

Resources include databases licensed by the library plus open access resources.

African Studies - Background Resources

Africa south of the Sahara.
London, Routledge / Europa Publications
1971-2023 Very good print reference source. Has extensive Country sections, essays such as China in Africa, France -  African Relations. In the Reference / Information Center.

Africa contemporary record; annual survey and documents
1968/69 – 2001/2002  Good print source for historical background.

Africa Research Bulletin 1964 -
Economic, financial, and technical series
Political, social, and cultural series
Helps you find the dates of events, a year’s facts about a country. Search by country. Summarizes current news. Has annual  indexes
Online (from 1997) and print (from 1964) editions.

Africa Yearbook Online (Brill). 2004-2020
Covers politics, foreign affairs, socio-economic developments.

Cambridge Histories (includes Cambridge History of Africa)
Content on Africa from various titles. Includes Cambridge History of Africa - From the Earliest times to c. 1975 in 8 volumes online.

Country Watch
Politics, economics, military,business,history, social life, etc.

Encyclopedia of Africa / editors, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
2 volumes

Encyclopedia of South Africa [2011]
Krista Johnson and Sean Jacobs, editors.
Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2011.
Online edition.
Print edition.

General history of Africa (UNESCO)
Abridged ed. London : J. Currey ; Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press ; Paris : Unesco, c1990-1999. 8 v.
Green Library. Information Center DT20 .G452 1990

  1. Methodology and African prehistory / editor, J. Ki-Zerbo
  2. Ancient civilizations of Africa / editor, G. Mokhtar
  3. Africa from the seventh to the eleventh century / editor, I. Hrbek
  4. Africa from the twelfth to the sixteenth century / editors, Joseph Ki-Zerbo and Djibril Tamsir Niane
  5. Africa from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century
  6. Africa in the nineteenth century until the 1880s / editor, J.F. Ade Ajayi
  7. Africa under colonial domination 1880-1935 / editor, A. Adu Boahen
  8. Africa since 1935 / editor, Ali A. Mazrui (reissued in unabridged form).

New encyclopedia of Africa / John Middleton, editor in chief ; Joseph C. Miller, editor.
Detroit : Gale Cengage Learning, c2008. 5 v.

Historical Dictionaries of Africa
Some countries have online editions. Each African country has its own volume. Examples  – Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (name changes, maps, chronology, history, land & people, Historical Dictionary of  Eritrea, Historical Dictionary of Namibia.

Oxford bibliographies. African studies
Essays and annotated bibliographies by experts on African topics. Has British Colonial Rule in Sub-Saharan Africa, French Colonial Rule, German Colonial Rule, Belgian Colonial Rule, etc.

Oxford Handbook of Modern African History
Signed articles by scholars. Topics include -

  • Africa in the Atlantic World, C.1760 – C. 1840 
  • African Literary Histories and History in African Literatures
  • Chieftaincy
  • Communications and Media in African History
  • Demography and Disease 
  • Ethnicity and Identity
  • Health and Healing 
  • Law, Crime, and Punishment in Colonial Africa  By Richard Roberts
  • New Religious Movements
  • Work and Migration  By Emily Lynn Osborn


Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics

Oxford Handbook of Nigerian History

Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics

Oxford Handbook of South African Economy

Oxford Handbook of South African History

Oxford Research Encyclopedias - African History

Has Christian History and Historiography, by Joel Cabrita.
Selections from the Oxford Research Encyclopedias - African History were published as the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources [2019], edited by Thomas Spear. 2 vols.
Contents of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia African History include -

  • Colonial Conquest and Rule
  • Numerical Data and Statistical Sources  
  • Digital Approaches to the History of the Atlantic Slave Trade  
  • Digital Sources in Europe for African History  
  • Quantitative Methods and Economic Statistical Sources for African History  
  • Newspapers as Sources for African History  
  • Kingdoms of South-Central Africa: Sources, Historiography, and History
  • Slavery and Slave Trade

Culture and Customs of.......................... A series of books on African countries. Example - Culture and Customs of Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, etc.