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3rd European Conference on African Studies

Leipzig, 4 to 7 June 2009


Approved Panels:


Panel 139: "African Studies on the web"
Preliminary program



African Studies on the web:
new possibilities and new services for academic research


The panel will discuss the complex task of making primary data (e.g. field notes, survey material, photography) accessible on the web. New solutions to electronic publishing of special collections will be proposed, designed to offer innovative documentation solutions and envisioning co-operative subject gateways for African Studies. The academic community will be invited to articulate their research needs and to discuss them with experts from digitization projects, archives and libraries.

The Humanities and Social Sciences working on Africa generate masses of data, only a small part of which are generally published. At the same time, the first generation of scholars which witnessed the enormous expansion of African Studies in the late 1960s and the 1970s has retired or is about to do so. What happens to the papers and unpublished legacy of a whole academic life? This panel will discuss different solutions for the accession and digitization of special collections and how academic institutions may handle such material. How and to whom can primary data be made accessible on the web? How many different types of data can be combined on a digital platform? How can we develop innovative documentation solutions for research groups? Could we establish central documentation services at a transnational level? Many academic institutions and research groups, archives and libraries, face similar problems. The possibility of future co-operative ventures and the necessity of common standards will be discussed. Finally, the services of the projects presented are examples of a future E-Science. With these virtual data centres new ways and new methods of research can be explored.

Chairs: Dr. Hartmut Bergenthum (UB Frankfurt/Main), Dr. Ulf Vierke (DEVA, University of Bayreuth)