Building a Sub-Saharan African Film Collection

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The purpose of this article is to help librarians interested in developing a basic understanding of Sub‐Saharan African cinema and increase awareness of the resources available when building a collection of sub‐Saharan African films for their library. A general review is provided to help become familiar with the history and nature of the four regions discussed. A collection development project to expand a mid‐sized university's collection of sub‐Saharan African films is discussed. Includes brief historical information and core titles, selected for their historical role and/or ease of purchase. A list of core films is recommended for academic and public libraries representing four geographic regions of sub‐Saharan Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, West Africa, and East Africa. Unfortunately, many of the titles referenced in academic literature and winners of African film awards are not available for purchase outside of Africa, making it impossible to accomplish our goal of collecting a core list as intended. The paper increases awareness of African cinema and value inclusion in library collections. While there are general articles on the topic of African cinema, there are no recent articles on the topic of collecting African films for libraries.


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Collection Building