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Comparative Literature: A Guide to Library Resources: Africa

This guide is selective and limited to items held by the Cornell University Library, with an emphasis on those resources held in the Reference collections of Olin, Kroch, and Uris Libraries

Reference Sources for African Literature


Zell, Hans M., Carol Bunday and Virginia Coulon, ed. A New Reader's Guide to African Literature. 2nd ed. New York: Africana, 1983. Library Annex PL 8010 Z51 1983; also Africana Reference
According to its introduction, this work lists "3091 works by black African authors south of the Sahara writing in English, French and Portuguese. Reference material. critical works and anthologies are also included, as are children's books." The cut-off date for listings is 1981. The first four sections of this work are devoted to bibliographies, critical studies (both general and of specific authors), reference works and listings of folklore and oral tradition. These selections are followed by regional groupings (e.g. East Africa, English-speaking Africa, etc.) subdivided by country (e.g. Cameroon, etc.). Within each country individual authors are listed alphabetically, with their works listed chronologically. All entries are annotated and most contain both critical and biographical information.


Cox, C. Brian, ed. African writers. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons ; London : Simon & Schuster, Prentice Hall International, c1997. 2 v. Uris Library Dean Room, South Wall PL 8010 A453x 1997; also Africana Reference
Covers late-19th and 20th century writers from the African continent. Arranged alphabetically by author name, signed entries include short biographies, some critical commentary, and bibliographies of both primary and secondary sources. Includes a list of included writers grouped by country. An introduction discusses the themes of colonization, identity and language.
Herdeck, Donald E. African Authors: a Companion to Black African Writing 1300-1973. Washington, DC: Black Orpheus Press, 1973. (Olin Reference PL 8010 H54; also Africana)
Over 500 biographical entries ranging from half-a-column to several pages. Basic bibliographies are provided for each author. Many useful appendices, listing authors by genre, for example, or by language employed. This is a useful reference source for anyone researching African literature.
Parekh, Pushpa Naidu and Siga Fatima Jagne, eds. Postcolonial African Writers. A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998. Olin Reference PL 8010 P585x 1998
Contains alphabetically arranged biographies and critical appraisals of more than 60 African writers who have come to prominence since the demise of European colonialism. Introductory essays provide historical and cultural context, and each signed biographical entry includes both a bibliography of the author's work and a substantial list of references to secondary sources in both books and journals. A selected bibliography at the end of the volume emphasizes sources on postcolonial theory and gender issues in postcolonial society.


Africa-wide NiPAD
Combining 16 databases from three continents searchable together for the first time, this resource contains over 850,000 indexed references, many with abstracts. Records are derived from books, periodical articles, pamphlets, maps and music recordings. Topics include politics, history, economics, business, mining, development, social issues, anthropology, literature, language, law, music and much more.
John Henrik Clarke Africana Library (Cornell)
Information about and links to both local and remote resources related to the study of African and African-American culture, including full-text digital periodicals and historical documents.
Il portale dedicato all'Africa e ai popoli africani in Italia. Contiene informazioni anche su una nuova generazione di autori africani che vivono in Italia e scrivono in italiano, raccontando la vita nel loro Paese adottivo.


African continent

Africana Library

Africana Library
For more resources, visit the Africana Library.

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