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.
- Archival and Manuscript Collections
- Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa
- Digitized Collections
- Poster Collection
- Political Barber Shop Sign Collection
- Winterton Collection of East African Photographs
Guidelines for special 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.
Please note that languages books, vertical file, rare books, posters, archival and manuscript materials and photographs are available for consultation Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 4:45pm only. Advance appointments, especially for those using these resources for the first time, are strongly encouraged.
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.
- African language books, vertical files, rare books, archival and manuscript materials, photographs, and posters are available for consultation Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:45pm.
- 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.
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.