The IHR has significant holdings on the history of Africa, in particular works relating to the colonies held by European states. There are large collections of journals and correspondence from early explorers, as well as official governmental documents, expedition reports and ethnographic studies of the continent. In addition, the Library also has holdings documenting the missionary societies and their expeditions to Africa.
Due to the way that the IHR's collection policy complements other local libraries the African material predominantly centres on the colonial history of the continent. Other libraries with strong holdings on African history are listed under Related Libraries and Institutions below.
The Library's Africa collections are comprised of a multitude of different documents ranging from general histories of the continent, private letters, governmental colony yearbooks, diplomatic memoirs, exploration and documents concerning the process of decolonisation. In addition, the Library also has a series of maps which detail the continent and chart its changing territorial boundaries.
The Africa collection within the IHR Library holds the classmark CLB, with CCLB the classmark for oversized folio materials. Holdings are then subdivided by geographical region under these classmarks. Several works relating to Africa however, can also be found within the general colonial classmark CG. Relevant materials can also be found across collections. Please note that this collection guide will not cover the history of enslavement in Africa - please instead consult the separate collection guide for the history of slavery amongst the IHR collections.