The French Institute of South Africa and the Institute for Humanities in Africa are convening an international conference on the links established between Cuba and several African countries in the 20th century. Military and medical engagements, training and cultural cooperation: the objective of this first meeting is to start measuring the scale of a multifaceted Cuban engagement in Africa. Gathering scholars from three continents and open to the public, the conference will take place at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), based at the University of Cape Town, on May the 23rd and the 24th.
The library of the School of Oriental and African Studies holds the largest public collection of Swahili manuscripts in Britain. The collection includes more than 250 manuscripts dating from the 1790s to the 1970s, contained in the papers of William Taylor, Alice Werner, William Hichens, Wilfred Whiteley, Jan Knappert and Yahya Ali Omar. The library also holds microfilms of the manuscripts that were deposited by JWT Allen at the University of Dar es Salaam.
The SOAS manuscripts are an invaluable resource for the study of cultural and literary history. Many were scribed in Arabic script, and many contain poetry composed in northern Swahili dialects. Letters, stories, notes, essays on history and culture and drafts of published and unpublished books number among the collection’s offerings.
IDP is a ground-breaking international collaboration to make information and images of all manuscripts, paintings, textiles and artefacts from Dunhuang and archaeological sites of the Eastern Silk Road freely available on the Internet and to encourage their use through educational and research programmes.
A brief glimpse of the workshop, in pictures.
The British Library holds a small but significant collection of manuscripts from West Africa. As part of his PhD research, Paul Naylor is cataloguing the collection and identifying its contents for the first time. Here, he introduces the collection and gives his preliminary results.