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Images of Africa: Home

mages of Africa draws upon research materials in Special Collections by and about Africans over the past 400 years. Included in the exhibition are maps, manuscripts, photographic collections, works by African writers, travelers’ narratives, oral histories

Introductory Text

When you think of Africa, what images come to mind? The Pyramids? Nelson Mandela? Maasai warriors? The Sahara Desert? Africa is a vast continent with a rich array of cultures, languages, religions, geography, and history. UCSB Library’s Special Collections, which has long taken a global view in building its research collections, houses a wide range of rare, valuable, and unique items that explore the diversity of Africa.  

Images of Africa draws upon research materials in Special Collections by and about Africans over the past 400 years. Included in the exhibition are maps, manuscripts, photographic collections, works by African writers, travelers’ narratives, oral histories, rare 78 rpm African records, and more.

A listening kiosk with African music is installed as part of Images of Africa and features the CD Opika Pende, with 100 never-before-reissued 78 RPM recordings from 1909 to the 1960s.

The exhibition also contains items from the collection of David C. Tambo. David Tambo is the retired Head of Special Collections, who in his earlier days spent several years in Nigeria, first as a Peace Corps volunteer (1968-1970) and then doing dissertation-related field research (1975-1976).

Images of Africa is curated by David Tambo and Edward Fields, Special Collections staff member.

On November 6th, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm there will be a public reception with live DJ in the Library's Mary Cheadle Room (3rd Floor). Jon Ward will be spinning a selection of African 78s.  Wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and African themed snacks will be served.


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