Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) - An institute dedicated to preserving memory and promoting historical knowledge in Africa and its adjacent islands

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The Nature of JHIA Collection

A key element of JHIA's mission is to collect sources and to make them available to researchers. In order to facilitate a contextualized research and allow for necessary comparative scholarship, JHIA's collection is much broader than strictly "Jesuit" records and "African" material.

We understand that JHIA's holding is of use to a large African research community from all academic disciplines and we are committed to making it accessible to all, except in limited cases where donors place an embargo on the material they entrust to us (for example, where a specified period of time must elapse before private records can be ethically disclosed to the public).

To build up our collection, we accept publications and manuscripts (including Masters and PhD theses) that roughly fall in the following four categories:

A. Jesuit material (Jesuitica)

  • Jesuit history in general, but especially in Africa and Madagascar and in the regions that had direct connection with missions in Africa and Madagascar
  • papers and profiles of prominent Jesuits from everywhere
  • the Spiritual Exercises and Jesuit/Ignatian Spirituality
  • Jesuit education and records of other ministries
  • other Jesuit subjects of interest

B. African material (Africana)

  • old documents of historical importance to Africa and Madagascar
  • histories of different African communities (the Bemba rather than Zambia, the Kamba rather than Kenya, etc.)
  • writings of social, cultural and anthropological nature directly dealing with African societies
  • African religions (Indigenous, Islam in Africa, etc.) and religious experiences in general
  • government and institutional documents of significant historical interest (census records, commissions of inquiry reports, etc.)
  • records of struggles for greater political and economic freedom
  •  private papers of prominent persons in 20th century Africa (e.g., letters of high ranking church men and women, politicians and civil servants, etc.)

C. Christianity in Africa (Afro-Christiana)

  • papers and profiles of early African converts
  • papers and profiles of missionaries who worked in Africa
  • general missionary records, especially different mission journals of interest to Africa (e.g., Zambezi Mission Records, Church Missionary Intelligencer, etc.)
  • other documents and records of interest from religious congregations and denominations that worked in Africa
  • private papers of prominent persons in African churches (e.g., letters of the Archbishop of Lusaka)
  • vernacular translations of the bible and other key documents

D. Material of comparative value and items that are simply "nice to have"

  • publications of comparative interest to Africa (e.g., Inculturation in Asia, Pentecostalism in North America, Jesuit Schools in Latin America, Faith and Justice in India, Witchcraft in 18th Century Europe, The Success of Self-Help Agricultural Programmes in Fiji, Truth and Reconciliation in Russia,Traditional Marriage Among the American Indians, Speeches of American Presidents, The 1918 Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms, etc.)
  • general material (e.g., global history of Christianity, the Second Vatican Council, etc.)
  • simply "nice-to-have" material—imagined examples: World Geography, (original publication, 1559), The Art of Michelangelo, the first French Translation of the Bible, a Chinese Catechism, etc.

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News and Events

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