Sponsored by H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences On-line, Michigan State University

H-Afresearch is devoted to the discussion of issues surrounding the use of primary sources in African humanities and social sciences research. Primary sources are defined broadly to include traditional archival records, manuscripts and personal papers; photograph and film collections; field notes, oral data and music collections; and material culture and artifacts. The network seeks to build bridges between two main audiences: African Studies researchers and primary source repository professionals, be they archivists, librarians, documentalists, or museum curators. Focusing on the research process will allow researchers to get informed responses to practical questions, from both other researchers and the caretakers of the raw materials of research--in Africa or outside the continent.

The subject matter that the editors envision for this network would interest both researchers and information professionals. Researchers would come to this network to query list subscribers regarding issues in locating sources on particular topics, identifying other researchers with experience in those sources, and obtain practical tips and up-to-date information on the use of specific collections. In addition, researchers could raise broader methodological issues arising from working with primary source materials in all their various formats.

Repository professionals, especially in Africa, benefit from participation in the network because it allows them to publicize their institutions and services, inform the research community of additions and changes in their holdings, and alert them to funding needs that researchers and northern repository professionals may be able to assist them with through their own grant writing and institutional affiliations. As Internet connectivity increases, we anticipate a steadily growing African involvement in the network and will work actively to promote this participation.

The H-AFRESEARCH list is co-edited by Susan Tschabrun, California State University,, and Kathryn Green, California State University, The editors serve two-year renewable terms, with the approval of the H-Net Executive Committee and rotate their duties. The current editor will be identified in all messages coming from the list. The editors will solicit postings (by email, phone and even by regular mail), will assist people in managing subscriptions and setting up options, will handle routine inquiries, and will consolidate some postings. Anyone with suggestions about what H-AFRESEARCH can and might do is invited to send in ideas. The editors will solicit and post newsletter-type information (calls for conferences, for example, or listings of sessions at conventions.) They will also commission book and article reviews, and post book announcements from publishers. H-AFRESEARCH will be moderated to filter out extraneous messages (like requests for subscription) and items that do not belong on H-AFRESEARCH. They may belong somewhere else, or in the judgment of the editors they do not aid the scholarly dialogue. The editors will not alter the meaning of messages without the author's permission. The editors are advised by a board of field experts.

Message logs and more information about H-AFRESEARCH may be obtained at its website, linked from the H-Net website:


To subscribe, send the following line as the only text of an e-mail message (no styles, fonts, or signature files, turn off word-wrap for long addresses) from the account you wish subscribed to

SUBSCRIBE H-AFRESEARCH firstname lastname, institution

Example: SUBSCRIBE H-AFRESEARCH Jane Smith, Pioneer State U

Follow the instructions you receive in reply.

For additional information please write one of the editors at:

For technical assistance please contact the H-NET help staff at:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Susan Tschabrun
Kathryn Green