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Explore the Collection

The Herskovits Library's collection includes photographs, maps, posters, videos, books in African languages, archival materials and manuscripts, as well as art objects, ephemeral materials and other artifacts, many of which are digitally accessible. 

Guidelines for special materials

Accessing materials

The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies maintains and provides access to unique collections of rare books, archives, manuscripts and photographs. We welcome use of these resources by faculty, students and staff of Northwestern University and by visiting researchers regardless of affiliation.

Rules and regulations for use

Since the holdings are rare and unique, researchers are expected to be very careful to avoid loss or damage to any materials.

  • All special materials will be delivered to researchers following completion of the Research Consultation Request Form.
  • Materials are non-circulating.
  • Materials will be delivered, one item at a time, for use at an assigned open carrel or index table.
  • No photocopying or scanning without permission. 

Copyright restrictions

Permission to consult materials does not convey the right to reproduce or publish. Researchers are permitted to quote, cite or refer to materials in accordance with the United States copyright law. However, more extensive quotation, copying for research purposes, or the reproduction and publishing of materials are governed by the copyright law, donor agreements and library policy. For more information, consult the library's Copyright page.