Archival Processing of the Jan Vansina Papers Undertaken Jointly by Archives and Africana

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Over the course of the 2011 summer, the Northwestern University Archives and the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies joined forces to work on processing the papers of the seminal African historian and anthropologist, Jan Vansina. Manuscript Librarian Jason Nargis provided processing guidance to Pamela Khanakwa, a recent Northwestern Ph.D. recipient in African History, while she organized the nearly 40 cubic feet of personal, research, teaching, and publication records.  Vansina, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, donated his papers to the library so they could be surrounded by the prestigious Africana collection, and encourage future research.  Khanakwa has already heard from several colleagues eager to dig into the material; not surprising since Vansina is widely regarded as a leading authority on Central African history, culture, language, and people. Africana will post a work-study position to complete the work int he new academic year. The majority of the collection has been processed and Nargis will continue to work with the Herskovits Library during the coming quarter to finish the project and make this valuable collection available to the University community.  In the event it is not possible to hire a work-study student asssistant in Fall quarter it may be necessary to defer the completion of the project to Summer 2012.