Africa Commons

Africa Commons

Africa Commons is a platform for discovering African historical and cultural materials held by organizations around the world. Material types include books, magazines, newspapers, historical periodicals, government documents, manuscripts, letters, diaries, posters, photographs, ephemera, art, music, videos, oral histories, and more. On the Africa Commons platform, Rutgers has access to the following modules: 

  • History and Culture:  Searches across over 500,000 documents from over 4,000 collections and over 600 organizations, including libraries, museums, and archives, and links outward to the web repositories where the documents are located. Includes many items that have been fully digitized and indexed. Also includes finding aids that can be used to identify non-digitized materials held by these organizations. It also includes born-digital materials archived from various organizational websites. Organizations and individual members of Africa Commons may contribute links and files to the platform. Uploaded content and links are reviewed by Coherent Digital.
  • Black South African Magazines: Digitized archives of 7 popular magazines of the mid-20th century, including Zonk!, Zonk! Film-Pic Photo Stories, Contrast, The Townships Housewife, Grace, Hi-Note!, and Drum.
  • Southern African Films and Documentaries: Over 100 films spanning the 1900s to the 2000s, including newsreels, propaganda, documentaries, feature films, and interviews.
  • East African Magazines, Newspapers, and Films: The Hilary Ng’weno Archive: Over 70 historical documentaries and digitized archives of Rainbow Children's Magazine, The Weekly Review, and The Nairobi Times, all created and edited by journalist Hilary Ng’weno.

Rutgers does not have access to any other modules that may be released on this platform.

Africa Commons was developed with an advisory board of African scholars. Many of the collections in Africa Commons are held by institutions in Africa, and Coherent Digital is working with African institutions to digitize additional materials. Africa Commons also includes significant African materials held by organizations around the world. 

Dates covered

Ancient times - present.

Coherent Digital