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Library Details:

Jahn Library for African Literatures

Department of Anthropology and African Studies

Library Type: Academic
Address: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Forum 6
D-55099 Mainz
Germany
Chief Librarian/Director: Anja Oed
African Specialist:  Anja Oed, Dr.
Telephone: +40-6131-3925933
Web address: http://www.jahn-bibliothek.ifeas.uni-mainz.de
Catalogue Address: http://www.ub.uni-mainz.de
Description of Library: The Jahn Library is one of the earliest and most comprehensive research facilities for African literatures in Europe and beyond. Its collection comprises creative writing from Africa in more than seventy languages, including classics in African literature as well as works by less well-known writers and locally produced literature. The collection also holds translations, film adaptations of literary works and audiobooks as well as a large number of relevant critical sources and selected academic journals.

Janheinz Jahn, on whose personal collection (started in the early 1950s and continued till his death in 1973) the holdings of the Jahn Library are based, not only collected literary works by writers from Africa but also by black writers from Europe, North America, the Caribbean, South America and Oceania. These areas of the collection are no longer systematically expanded. Today, the focus of the collection lies on African literatures. Following in Jahn's footsteps, the Jahn Library collects literary works across linguistic boundaries, e.g. creative writing in all languages used by African writers. Languages include the former colonial languages as well as a great number of indigenous African languages.

For historical and institutional reasons, North African and Arabic literature are not collected by the Jahn Library.
Disciplines covered: Literature
Countries covered: Anglophone
Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central Africa
Central African Republic
Congo (Brazzaville)
Congo (Kinshasa)
Djibouti
East Africa
Eastern Africa
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Francophone
Gabon
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Ivory Coast
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Lusophone
Malagasy (Madagascar)
Malawi
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Somaliland
South Africa
Southern Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
The Gambia
Togo
Uganda
West Africa
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Special Collections: The collection of the Jahn Library includes a large number of titles in individual African languages.

Information on the exact number of films and audiobooks is currently not available.

The Jahn Library holds quite a large number of academic as well as literary journals. However, many journals were only collected for a limited period of time. Of some journals, only individual issues are part of the collection. Information on the holdings of individual journals is available through the university library's online catalogue (www.ub.uni-mainz.de).
Collection Size: Books:20000
Journals:60
Newspapers:0
Maps:0
Music:0
Films:100
Photographs:0
Collection Start: The Jahn Library was founded in 1975. However, its holdings are based on the personal collection of Janheinz Jahn, who began collecting African literature and what he later referred to as 'neo-African' literature in 1951, following an encounter with Léopold Sédar Senghor. Since the foundation of the Jahn Library in 1975, when the collection comprised about 7000 titles, the collection has grown steadily.
Access and opening hours: Opening hours are limited and liable to frequent change. Current opening hours can be found on the library's website (http://www.jahn-bibliothek.ifeas.uni-mainz.de/index_ENG.php). External users are welcome during opening hours but may not borrow books. Special opening hours can usually be arranged by email in advance of your visit.

Titles acquired before 1997 have not completely been catalogued online.
Publications and databases on African collections produced by the Library: Oed, Anja, 2006: "Literaturen in afrikanischen Sprachen und die Jahn-Bibliothek für afrikanische Literaturen". In: Anna-Maria Brandstetter and Carola Lentz (Eds.): 60 Jahre Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien. Ein Geburtstagsbuch. (Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung, 14). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe, 163-177.

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