Trial access to Europresse


Trial access is now enabled to Europresse, a database of French newspapers, from today 22 January to Thursday next week 31 January 2019, via the link below.


Cambridge University Library is starting a 10 days trial for Europresse, an aggregator which allows online access to many French and Francophone national and regional newspapers and magazines including Le Monde (from 1944), Le Figaro, Libération, L’Humanité, Les Echos, La Tribune, Le Soir, Le Temps, Le Parisien, Ouest-France, La Provence, L’Express, Le Point, Marianne, L’Obs, Le Monde diplomatique.

Europresse also offers access to English language titles from the UK (The Guardian, The Independent, The Economist, Financial Times) and the US (The New York Times, The Washington Post) as well as others from Europe (Die Tageszeitung

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Cambridge Elements


Today marks the official launch of Cambridge Elements!

Cambridge Elements provide a completely new format for publishing scholarly material: succinct and significant, peer-reviewed research that combines the best features of books and journals.

From today, Cambridge Elements will be available to purchase via Cambridge Core through a range of options: as a complete collection, in subject or series clusters, title-by-title, or as part of an Evidence Based Acquisition (EBA) agreement.  To find out more about accessing and purchasing Elements, visit the librarian information page, or download the price list.

So, what’s the hype all about?

Cambridge Elements offer an original approach to scholarly publishing: incisive, rapidly published, and peer-reviewed like a journal, Elements also benefit from the careful commissioning and series editing you would expect from a book series, with enough space to develop a theme in greater detail than is possible in a journal article.


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CfP |Decolonising African Studies: questions & dilemmas for libraries, archives and collections



Decolonising African Studies: questions & dilemmas for libraries, archives & collections

Monday 10 June 2019

University of Edinburgh

Appleton Tower 2.12, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9LE



There has been an increasing call for the decolonisation of the curriculum across the disciplines in Northern institutions and elsewhere, notably recently South Africa. Librarians and archivists should be actively involved in this process but little attention has as yet been given to practical implications for libraries: acquisitions, cataloguing, resource allocation, information literacy, and the need for continuing professional development.

European institutions hold rich resources on Africa. How are these collections being used from the decolonisation point of view and what is research on these collections uncovering?

How are libraries and archives seeking to open up their collections, how are they responding to the different demands and requirements of scholars and restitution activists and what sort of partnerships are they developing in African countries and elsewhere?

In order to increase access to African-authored knowledge and perspectives how are libraries discovering what is being published in Africa and acquiring it? How are international journals being opened up to African academics?

Librarians, archivists, researchers, teachers and students are invited to submit abstracts of up to 350 words for consideration to Sarah Rhodes ( by 4 February 2019.

Trial access – Aluka


Trial access has been arranged to Aluka : World Heritage Sites(Africa) and Aluka : Struggles for FreedoM (South Africa) from 12th November to 12th December 2018 on the JSTOR platform.

Please send us your feedback about these resources.

Aluka : World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites: Africa is made up of more than 86,000 objects in 30 sub-collections. The resource links visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites.

The materials in World Heritage Sites: Africa serve researchers in African studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, Diaspora studies, folklore and literature, geography, and history, as well as those focused on geomatics, advanced visual and spatial technologies, historic preservation, and urban planning. The collection is also a tool for museums, libraries, NGOs, and government organizations that manage or oversee cultural heritage sites, as well as for experts and professionals engaged in the conservation and management of such sites.

Spatial and…

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Trial access: World Christian Database


Trial access is now enabled to the World Christian Database from the publisher Brill via this link:

Trial access runs from 6 November to 6 December 2018.

We need to hear your thoughts about this database to know what value it would bring if we made it available in future.   Please contribute your feedback via this online form:

Thank you.

The World Christian Database (WCD) includes detailed information on all major world religions. Extensive religious and secular statistics are available on 9,000 Christian denominations, 238 countries and 13,000 ethnolinguistic peoples, as well as on 5,000 cities and 3,000 provinces. The WCD incorporates the core data from the World Christian Encyclopedia(WCE) and World Christian Trends (WCT).  However, statistics in the WCD constitute a significant update of the data published in WCE/WCT in 2001.

WCD is an initiative of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell…

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Trial access: Literature Online (LION) Premium Collection


Trial access to the new Literature Online (LION) Premium Collection is now available until 1 December 2018 via this link:

Please send your feedback on this trial to  Thank you.

A LibGuide about LION Premium is provided by the publisher here:

Literature Online Premium offers a unique combination of materials which respond to and support the full interdisciplinary breadth in which literary studies are researched today.

The LION core collection is now enriched with the addition of two brand new collections:

These enrich the original core content at all levels:

  • The largest collection of primary works: Over 500,000 primary works from the 8th century to the present day; the largest, most inclusive library of texts assembled online. All re-keyed to 99.95% textual accuracy so users can be confident they’re getting all the relevant hits and not missing anything.
  • The

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VLeBooks: a broader range of publishers and improved accessibility


The ebooks@cambridge team is pleased to announce the addition of a new ebook aggregator platform to our suite: VLeBooks. VLeBooks complements our existing offering of ebook aggregators in a couple of key ways:

VLeBooks appOpening up access to trade publishers

VLeBooks is provided by Askews & Holts Library Services, a library supplier with a history of servicing the public library sector which has more recently branched out into academic library supply. It sells ebooks from a wide range of publishers, including –  thanks to its public library origins – trade publishers such as Penguin and Harper Collins. Titles from trade publishers crop up fairly frequently on reading lists, particularly in the Humanities, and until now we have been unable to provide users with ebook versions of these titles through our existing vendors. Here is a sample of Penguin titles we have purchased recently and which are available now on VLeBooks

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What happens when photography & research collide?

We are so pleased by the response to Kerstin Hacker’s photographic exhibition “Generation Z” currently open to the public here at the Centre of African Studies and African Studies Library.  It has made such a difference to our space not only aesthetically, but has provoked many conversations between people of all ages, backgrounds, and academic interests.

The private view for the exhibition was lively, entertaining, and beautifully captured by two of Kerstin’s third year photography students at Anglia Ruskin.


We even made it in to the superbly produced Cambridge Library Community Newsletter (EDITOR: Alina Wanitzek, UL ; COMPILATION: Laura Jeffrey, Wolfson College) !!



Kerstin gave a wonderful tour, which was followed by a captivating and practical discussion on Monday 29th October, describing the research practice involved in producing the photographic series Generation Z.  The key concepts I took away from her talk were: collaboration, networking, “visual self governance”, trust and relationships, research and knowledge of your concept, re-framing and challenging preconceptions, identity.

Kerstin will be presenting her paper:

GSI Seminar – National Identity: The colonial library, the ‘uncited’ image and the rise of visual self governance in Zambia, Photographing Generation Z

14 November 2018, 13:00 – 14:00 at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge campus

I would like to thank Judith Weik from Art@ARB, the Centre of African Studies, and of course the incredibly talented Kerstin Hacker for working together to make this wonderful exhibition happen here at the Centre & Library.

The exhibition will run to the 21st December, Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00.  Please get in touch if you would like a tour, or more information!  


Alex uncovers further collections @AfrStudiesLib!

During my time volunteering at the African Studies Library I have had the privilege of getting to work with a variety of collections of primary sources, ranging from the personal correspondences of colonial administrators, to Cold War era intelligence reports on communist influence in Africa. While varying greatly in their contents, all the sources I have seen are able to offer insights not only into the lives of the individuals they relate to, but to wider society during their time period.

The first collection I got to work with was a prime example of this, a catalogue of letters written by and to one of the last British colonial administrators in Nigeria, John H. Smith. Reading through Smith’s correspondences with his Nigerian friends Dafuwa Azare and Edward George, I began to discover their thoughts on events taking place in Nigeria and around the world during the 1950s and 60s, and from their letters I developed an understanding of the situation on the ground in Nigeria shortly before and after its independence.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with previously uncatalogued collections of primary sources is discovering that they often contain a far broader range of documents than first meets the eye. This was the case with a collection of writings which, ostensibly all related to the engineer Eric Welbourn’s involvement with the foundation of the universities of Lagos and Ibadan. In fact, these documents formed only one part of the collection, which also contained a large number of 1930s intelligence reports from Northern Nigeria, donated by the pioneering Africanist Margery Perham. I was intrigued by how Perham came to obtain these once classified documents, and discovered that she gained them whilst travelling Africa as part of a Rockefeller Foundation Travel Scholarship. I was also surprised to discover that the Welbourn collection closely related to the collections of the renowned Arabist R.B. Serjeant, and the scholar and founder of Clare Hall Eric Ashby, whose writings I had already catalogued. It was greatly fulfilling to see these seemingly disparate sources transform into a cohesive story about the foundation and development of two of Nigeria’s largest universities.

Written sources have not been the only resource I have worked with at the ASC Library, the papers of Margery Perham and the French historian Guy Nicolas contained several maps, which helped to illustrate their work, and to visualise the contents of their writings.

Of all the collections I have worked with, my favourite must be that of the colonial administrator Harold Ingrams. In Ingrams’ collection I found a treasure trove of documents relating to the Cold War and the First World War. These included detailed analyses of communist influence in East Africa, plans to distribute anti-communist propaganda in Nigeria, and policy papers outlining the Foreign Office’s position on Portugal’s actions in Angola. One source I found particularly interesting was a 1918 Foreign Office report containing testimony from native leaders in the former German colonies of Namibia and Togo, who, unsurprisingly, denounced German rule and asked that the former German territories be placed under British ‘protection’. Documents like this remain highly open to interpretation, and it is possible view the report as either the sincere testimony of native populations who viewed British rule as their best option, or the cynical justification for an imperialistic land grab.

It is the questions which sources such as this raise which have helped to make my time at the African Studies Library so interesting, and it has been a great pleasure getting to see first-hand documents from Africa’s past and trying to find the answers to the questions they ask.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time at the African Studies Library, and look forward to returning soon.

Alex C Aug 18

Alex had a work experience placement with us during August this year.  We thank him wholeheartedly for all of the hard work and his free time, and look forward to having him back during his final year at The Perse School.