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African Studies Portal - UW-Madison Libraries : Books

Books - The UW-Madison libraries holds hundreds of thousands of Africa-related printed volumes in its collection. The most effective way to discover these invaluable monographs, anthologies, and other print material is to use the libraries' catalog search function and seek them out on the shelves in the library. Who knows what else you may find amongst the stacks!

Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century

Over the last hundred years African writers have written of their lives, experiences, culture, history and myth; they have written in diverse forms, styles and in many languages. They have been published widely on the African continent, in Europe, the Americas and Asia. They have written in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, and in many other indigenous languages. And they have written with extraordinary originality, flair and great integrity. Nonetheless their work as a corpus deriving from the African continent remains largely unknown and uncelebrated.

To mark the beginning of the 21st century, and encouraged by Professor Ali Mazrui, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair launched the international compilation of "Africa's 100 Best Books." This project was organized in collaboration with the African Publishers Network (APNET), the Pan-African Booksellers Association (PABA), African writers' associations, book development councils, and library associations.

Columbia University Libraries
Find below the many creative and scholarly/non-fiction works from this Top 100 list that are currently held by UW-Madison Libraries.

Creative Writing


How to Search for Books

  1. Use the Books tab on the Libraries Webpage.
  2. In the search box, type the your keywords.
    • You don't need to use punctuation marks or capitals.
  3. Select Anywhere from the drop-down menu below the search box.
  4. Click Search.
  5. Notice the list on the left of the screen of ways to refine your results.
  6. Click the titles of items in the result list that fit your topic best.
    • To help you choose, consider the following:
      • Title of item: does it seem relevant to your topic?
      • Name of author: is it someone in the field you recognize?
      • Date of publication: how current is the book? (A book about medicine from the 1970s will be way out of date!)
    • To find more books like this one,
      • Click the book's title to open the record.
      • Scroll down to the heading Subjects.
      • Click a subject that is relevant to your topic. A list of similar subjects displays.
      • Click the one you're interested in to see all the books at UW-Madison related to that subject.
  7. Write down the book's location and call number.
    • You'll need both to find it on the shelf!
  8. Go to the appropriate library and pick up the book.
    • To find your call number on the shelves, ask a librarian for help or find a stack guide when you arrive.

Area Studies Librarian

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Kimberly Rooney
Memorial Library 278F
728 State St.
Madison, WI