idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Thema Corona

Science Video Project

idw-News App:


Google Play Store

Share on: 
06/25/2009 17:05

Africa Virtual Library on the Internet

Peter Peetz Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

    Central gateway to information on Africa for researchers now online

    Finding relevant literature on a specific African topic or country - this is possible with the "internet library sub-saharan Africa" (ilissAfrica), which is now online and accessible to everyone. Users can search for books, anthologies, journal articles and Internet resources at They are then led directly to the corresponding website or shown at which library the book or journal article can be found.

    The portal is a joint project of the University Library in Frankfurt and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. Both institutions were made responsible for the Special Collections for Africa South of the Sahara by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the 1960s and hence have the largest collections of Africa-related literature in Germany today.

    The ilissAfrica portal offers its services in three languages: German, English, and French.

    "In this way, African scientists can use our services," explains Dr. Hartmut Bergenthum, the Africa subject specialist in Frankfurt, "and we contribute to the exchange between the Anglophone and Francophone scientific communities."

    Scientists in Africa may also benefit from an "Open Access Guide," which lists a wide range of offers that are accessible from African countries for free or for a small fee.

    "ilissAfrica is a big gain for research on Africa in Germany," says Dr. Andreas Mehler, Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs and board member of the German Association for African Studies (VAD). "Access to the relevant literature is made faster and easier, and the visibility of African studies in Germany is improved."

    ilissAfrica not only provides references to literature, but also offers the services of a "real" virtual library: when copyright owners have given their consent, digitized publications can be downloaded, displayed and printed (normally as PDF documents).

    "Users increasingly expect immediate access to the full texts", says Claudia Roeske, librarian at the GIGA in Hamburg. "Therefore, we will consistently expand this offer."


    Dr. Hartmut Bergenthum (Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main)
    Tel: 069-798-39246

    Dr. Thomas Siebold (GIGA)
    Tel: 040 - 428 25-545

    The Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library in Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest and most used academic libraries in Germany. The library manages eleven special collection areas as part of the national literature provision system funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is responsible for the period from 1801 to 1870 in the federated collection of German printed literature ("Sammlung Deutscher Drucke"). Furthermore, the university library undertakes a range of central tasks for the Hesse state library system and functions as a research library for the city of Frankfurt.

    The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies is the largest German research institute for area and comparative area studies and is also among the largest in Europe. Its research focuses on political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Interregional linkages and global themes are incorporated within this research.

    (Joint press release from the University Library in Frankfurt and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, 25 June 2009)

    More information: - ilissAfrica: internet library sub-saharan Africa - Information Centre of the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg - University Library Frankfurt (Main)

    Criteria of this press release:
    Cultural sciences, Economics / business administration, Language / literature, Politics, Social studies
    transregional, national
    Miscellaneous scientific news/publications, Transfer of Science or Research

    ilissAfrica: internet library sub-saharan Africa

    For download



    Search / advanced search of the idw archives
    Combination of search terms

    You can combine search terms with and, or and/or not, e.g. Philo not logy.


    You can use brackets to separate combinations from each other, e.g. (Philo not logy) or (Psycho and logy).


    Coherent groups of words will be located as complete phrases if you put them into quotation marks, e.g. “Federal Republic of Germany”.

    Selection criteria

    You can also use the advanced search without entering search terms. It will then follow the criteria you have selected (e.g. country or subject area).

    If you have not selected any criteria in a given category, the entire category will be searched (e.g. all subject areas or all countries).