Archival and Research Resources in Conakry, Guinea
Source TitleHistory in Africa: an annual journal of method
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
University of Melbourne Author/sCounsel, Graeme
AffiliationAcademic Services and Registrar
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCounsel, G. (2009). Archival and Research Resources in Conakry, Guinea. History in Africa, 36, pp.439-445. https://doi.org/10.1353/hia.2010.0003.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
Archival research in West Africa can present many challenges. In one of the poorest regions of the world, governments struggle to maintain funding for the most basic infrastructure; thus archives and their holdings can often reside in a neglected state. Moreover, research materials may be spread over many departments and buildings, creating a labyrinthine network of officialdom, and requisite access requirements. This paper provides a brief overview of the principal archives located in Conakry, capital of Guinea. It includes current contact information and descriptions of holdings, and expands upon earlier articles by Klein (1981), Ford (1987), Conrad (1993), and Sampson (2002). On 2 October 2008 Guinea celebrated 50 years of independence. Earlier that year many new ministries were created, including the Ministère de la Culture, des Arts et Loisirs. For the first time in the nation's history, Guinea had its own dedicated ministry of the arts, thus potentially streamlining academic and archival research. The new Ministry faced many hurdles, however, for the story of Guinea's archives during the last 50 years is a tale of both marvel and neglect. During the nation's First Republic (1958-1984), Guinea's archives became established under the Presidency of Sékou Touré. The Archives Nationale, the Bibliothèque Nationale, and Radiodiffusion Télévision de Guinée were all created during his reign, and Guinea's archival resources were said to be among the best in West Africa. As Touré's grip on power strengthened, the nation's economic malaise grew, and Klein (1981:333) reported that in the early 1980s, when he conducted research in Conakry, he had been warned to expect significant damage to the archival contents.
KeywordsOrganisation of Information and Knowledge Resources; Heritage and Cultural Conservation; Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage; Understanding Africa's Past
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