Society & Culture

African Studies Institute establishes research collection

Athens, Ga. – In recognition of its 25th anniversary, the University of Georgia African Studies Institute has established a research collection in the University Archives of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Posters, flyers, photographs and manuscripts show the progress of the institute since it began as a table and a typewriter in the corner of an office.

A current exhibit at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries displays items from the collection along with objects illustrating African culture from personal collections.

In the exhibit, examples of hand-woven baskets, beadwork containers and clothing crafted in various African countries can be found, along with carved animals, statues and games. Also, photographs of animals, terrain and Mount Kilimanjaro appearing through clouds during a study abroad trip are displayed.

One case holds journals kept by students to chronicle their study abroad experiences.

“This is my favorite part because, for the students, this trip changes their lives,” said Amsale Abegaz, an administrative specialist in the African Studies Institute. “This is their story.”

One student recorded observations in Swahili. Another created a pop-up book. All journals contain photographs, watercolors or sketches to illustrate daily lives and experiences.

The university is marking the institute’s 25th anniversary with two weeks of events going through Nov. 15. Remaining events of the celebration include the Johnstone Lecture Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the African Languages Cultural Awareness Program Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.

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