Erasing 76 Crimes: Activists launch website to document trans and intersex African history

Erasing 76 Crimes: Activists launch website to document trans and intersex African history. “A group of activists has launched an initiative to document and preserve the history of trans and intersex Africans and their struggle for equal rights. The web site Trans and Intersex History Africa is a labor of love for the four principal curators, who come from South Africa and Uganda.”

Tulane News: Tulane database brings historic activism to the forefront

New-to-Me, from Tulane News: Tulane database brings historic activism to the forefront. “The African Letters Project is a free database that consists of over 5,600 letters written between 1945 to 1994, during the decolonization era in many African countries. [Professor Elisabeth] McMahon’s initial idea for the database was to highlight more African American activists who supported independence movements throughout Africa during that period of history.”

Google Blog: Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google

Google Blog: Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google. “Today, you can explore these stunning pyramids, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, on Google Arts & Culture. Over 200 pyramids were constructed in Meroë, the third and final capital of the Kushite Kingdom, an ancient African civilization that ruled the lands of Nubia for over 3000 years. Now you can take a virtual walk through the Pyramids of Meroë and explore the inscriptions using Street View’s panoramic imagery.”

University of Arkansas: CAST Researchers Awarded NEH Grant on Digital Storytelling About Precolonial Africa

University of Arkansas: CAST Researchers Awarded NEH Grant on Digital Storytelling About Precolonial Africa. “‘Digital Storytelling on African Urbanisms: A Model to Empower Education Initiatives Across the Global South’ explores how an open-access digital archive can be optimized to allow for low-resourced educators to engage with digital storytelling.”

University of Colorado Boulder: Interactive map gets closer to pinpointing African origins erased during slave trade

University of Colorado Boulder: Interactive map gets closer to pinpointing African origins erased during slave trade. “Conflicts among African nations during the collapse of the kingdom of Oyo in the early 19th century resulted in the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people. Soldiers and traders removed men, women and children from their homes, transported them to coastal ports and loaded them onto slave ships—their names, birth places and family ties erased. Historians have a pretty good record of where these individuals departed Africa, but due to a lack of primary sources, little is known about where they originated before boarding slave ships. CU Boulder researchers are hoping to change that with a first-of-its-kind mathematical model estimating conditional probabilities of African origins during the transatlantic slave trade.” I have this under “Research” instead of “New Resources” because the map is more an expression of the model and not a polished […]

The Conversation: Timbuktu manuscripts placed online are only a sliver of West Africa’s ancient archive

New-to-me, from The Conversation: Timbuktu manuscripts placed online are only a sliver of West Africa’s ancient archive. “While Mali Magic displays 45 very photogenic manuscripts from one private library, the site doesn’t begin to tell the full story of the wealth of West Africa’s manuscripts that are found from the Atlantic to Lake Chad. But thanks to decades of scholarship and, recently, digitisation, that information is now accessible at a bilingual, open-access, online union catalogue of nearly 80,000 manuscripts at the West African Arabic Manuscript Database. This is a resource I began 30 years ago at the University of Illinois that now provides students access to most of the titles and authors that make up West Africa’s manuscript culture.”

Timbuktu manuscripts: Mali’s ancient documents captured online (BBC)

BBC: Timbuktu manuscripts: Mali’s ancient documents captured online. “A virtual gallery to showcase Mali’s cultural history has been launched, featuring tens of thousands of Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts. The manuscripts were smuggled to safety from Timbuktu after Islamist militant groups took control of the city in northern Mali in 2012. They contain centuries of African knowledge and scholarship on topics ranging from maths to astrological charts.”

Washington University in St. Louis: New database highlights underrepresented scholars of African archaeology

Washington University in St. Louis: New database highlights underrepresented scholars of African archaeology. “Helina Woldekiros, assistant professor of archaeology in the Department of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and her collaborators recently launched the Bibliographic Database of African Scholarship on African Archaeology (BibDAA). The new open-access database collects and shares publications on African archaeology, broadly defined, by African and Afrodescendant scholars.”

Google Blog: Explore the Cradle of Creativity on Google Arts & Culture

Google Blog: Explore the Cradle of Creativity on Google Arts & Culture. “The Cradle of Creativity, a new project on Google Arts & Culture, explores how creativity evolved in Africa from rock art to contemporary brush strokes. In collaboration with the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) in Nigeria and the Origins Centre in South Africa, you can now explore 50 expertly-curated stories, featuring over 60 high-resolution Gigapixel images of artworks digitized using the Google Art Camera, 17 Street View virtual tours and, for teachers and students, a dedicated lesson plan.”

University of Cape Town: Minister Nzimande pledges help to UCT library, students after fire

University of Cape Town: Minister Nzimande pledges help to UCT library, students after fire. “Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande has pledged help from his department’s flagship funding agencies, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), to digitise and restore the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) library assets. This follows the 18 April fire that destroyed Jagger Reading Room and damaged other buildings. Dr Nzimande also promised to assist students whose research had been disrupted by the fire.”

IOL: Significant archives may have been lost in Cape Town’s fire. Why they matter so much

IOL: Significant archives may have been lost in Cape Town’s fire. Why they matter so much. “A wildfire on the slopes of Table Mountain has wreaked havoc at the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus. Among the sites of historical significance that have been damaged is the Jagger Library. The library houses rare and specialist collections, such as the important African Studies collections. The Conversation Africa’s Nontobeko Mtshali asked UCT academic Shannon Morreira to share her insights on what the loss means for the historical records held by the university.”

University of Cape Town: Recognising the loss of the Jagger Reading Room

University of Cape Town: Recognising the loss of the Jagger Reading Room. “The fire destroyed the Jagger Reading Room, gutting its roof and destroying the galleries, adjacent stores and offices. The team at UCT Libraries can confirm the archival and published print collections kept within the Reading Room were consumed by the flames. These include the vast majority of the African Studies Published Print Collection (approximately 70 000 items), the entire African Studies Film Collection on DVD (approximately 3 500), all the UCT university calendars, some of the heavily used Government Publications documents from South Africa and across the continent, and manuscripts and archives kept in the Reading Room for processing or digitisation or awaiting transfer after being digitised.”

Watch | Cape Town fire: Dreadful scenes as UCT Library goes up in flames (The South African)

A million thanks to Mandy W. for bringing this to my attention. The South African: Watch | Cape Town fire: Dreadful scenes as UCT Library goes up in flames. “Well, this is just utterly devastating: Hundreds of years of history has gone up in smoke on Sunday, as the Cape Town fire ripped its way through campus – and set the UCT Library ablaze. Students were evacuated from their Halls of Residence earlier on Sunday, after the inferno made its way from Table Mountain, through Devil’s Peak, and into Newlands. …Precious archives, historic texts, and collections of African Studies are all in jeopardy this afternoon. The UCT Library is home to some classic publications, and has a long-standing history as an extraordinary hub for higher education.”

Digitisation in Asian and African Collections 2019 to 2021: what’s new online and where to find it (British Library)

British Library: Digitisation in Asian and African Collections 2019 to 2021: what’s new online and where to find it. “In the past year and a half we’ve made over 650 items from the Library’s Asian and African collections newly available online. To make it easier for you to find and explore our wonderful collections, we’ve put together a list of recently digitised items with links to their online versions for you to download here… They are arranged by collection area/project, so you can easily search and filter to your heart’s content!”

CNN: This 23-year-old Nigerian is creating a digital collection of African stories for children in different languages

CNN: This 23-year-old Nigerian is creating a digital collection of African stories for children in different languages. “In May, with help from two friends, Fanan and Tolulope, [Dominic] Onyekachi launched Akiddie, a web-based platform providing access to African storybooks for children like his niece. Akiddie features storybooks based on African history and characters for children in different languages.”