Collection - Arnold-Nitecki Africana Collection

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Arnold-Nitecki Africana Collection

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  • Multiple media

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1953 - 1988 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

2.5 m textual, 260 audio recordings, ca. 6000 slides

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Stephen H. Arnold ( 1942 - ) was a Professor in the department of Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Arnold collected systematically in many African countries and held appointments at the national universities of Tanzania (University of Der es Salaam) and Cameroun (Younde), as well as at Kenyatta University in Kenya. He served as Editor of the African Literature Association from 1978 and its Secretary-Treasures from 1979.

Name of creator

(1925 -)

Biographical history

Librarian. 1925-. Andre Nitecki came to the University in 1975 as associate professor of Library and Information Studies, gaining his full professorship in 1981. A specialist in library classification, he has also taught African art at the Universities of Lagos, Ibadan and Ghana, and participated in the Thai Royal Household Library Project. He has been active in Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) and assisted in organizing the Conference of Africanists, held at the University in 1986.

Custodial history

The collection was donated to the library in 1998 upon Professor Arnold's retirement. Nitecki's research and teaching notes were given to Stephen Arnold by Professor Nitecki's brother at the University of Chicago.

Scope and content

The collection consists of Cameroonian literary manuscripts collected by Arnold, research material about Cameroon and other African countries, teaching material on African art (collected by Nitecki), and a significant collection of slides and audio recordings. The collection is divided into series by subject matter and media type.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Because the collection had been moved and stored several times, any original order was lost. Thus it has been necessary to create artificial series, based on the form and content. Arranged in 15 series: 1. Guinness Literary Contest; 2. Conferences and Organizations; 3. Correspondence; 4. African Art; 5. Literary Manuscripts; 6. French-African Literature: Critical Studies; 7. Draft Publications; 8. Country Files; 9. Academic Writings; 10. Miscellaneous/Subject Files; 11. Beti, Mongo -- Criticism; 12. Egypt -- Teaching Materials; 13. Slides; 14. Video recordings; 15. Audio Recordings. File/item list available for some series

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    Script of material

      Location of originals

      The Arnold-Nitecki Africana Collection is housed at the University of Alberta Library's Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF). It is available to students, staff, and the general public for use at a supervised reading room at RCRF or Bruce Peel Special Collections. To request items from this collection please use the links in the catalogue record.

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      There are no restrictions on access.

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      Associated materials

      Related records, held by the University of Alberta Archives, concern Nitecki's administrative role in the Faculty of Library and Information Studies and his involvement with CUSO. Syracuse University holds the Andre Nitecki collection of African Art (donated in the early 1970's) but the Syracuse University Archives does not hold any Nitecki papers; just "a clipping file that contains news releases, clippings and the like".

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      General note

      The collection particularly reflects Arnold's interest and research in African literature; especially that of Anglophone Cameroon and his involvement with the African Literature Association and other scholarly organizations. He also collected as a generalist of Africana. The material in this collection also reflects Nitecki's teaching and research interests in the area of African Art.

      General note

      During the 1980's and 1990's, Arnold and Nitecki coordinated their collecting in order to prevent overlap and to increase the scope of their combined libraries. In addition to their numerous independent publications, Arnold and Nitecki co-edited: Culture and Development in Africa (Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 1990).

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      Written by Jonathan H. Davidson, September 1999. Revised by Stacey Sokolan, August 2006

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