The Africana / Special Collection section is located on the 4th level of the Main Library. Africana Materials include books & periodicals related to East Africa, general Africana books by explorers and travelers, plus books and documents on Uganda. The collection is significant both for research and as the primary depository of Ugandan history. It contains papers, letters, notes, reports, and dairies of events, books of history, travel, church memoranda, registers and journals from individuals, private & official organizations important to the Ugandan heritage. The section also holds important historical documents referring to Kenya and Tanzania during the early years of colonization. Most of the early materials date as far back as the late nineteenth century, and the initial half of the twentieth century to independence in 1962. In 1958, by an Act of Parliament, Makerere University Library became a Depository Library for all Ugandan Publications. This makes it the richest collection of documents on Uganda.

Thesis and Dissertations:

This collection consists mainly of Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Theses and Dissertations.

Thesis and Dissertations housed in Africana



University Collection:

In general the University Collection is limited to archival material and to works, which are preponderantly of Makerere University interest.



This collection comprises of copies of the first newspaper in Uganda to date.

 A digital version of the Uganda Argus; issue of Saturday September 30th 1972.


Manuscripts and Archives:

This is a collection of materials, mostly of non-government nature consisting of minutes of the Uganda Chamber of Commerce from its beginning in 1905 to 1951, Sir Apolo Kagwa’s papers, Apolo Kivebulaya’s diaries, Ham Mukasa and Esera Kabali’s papers. There are also Church Missionary Society files within these holdings.

Archive collection since 1905


Sir Apolo Kivebulaya's diary of 1933



The library has a collection of about 2,900 35mm roll film of periodical and newspaper back issues, manuscripts and theses. Music collection: The Library has a collection of works about music and music-related materials which include; personal and organisational papers; dissertations and theses, manuscripts, archival sound recordings of folklore, oral histories and performance history, as well as materials that support study, teaching and research in music. The library also collects music materials that form part of the documentary record of culture, as part of the Library’s national heritage responsibilities. The library has got a well equipped listening centre located on Ground Floor of the New Library Building.

The Music archives


Photographic Collection:

The library has a very rich collection of photographs and negatives that date back to the late 19th Century. Most of the photographs depict events of historical interest in Uganda.

Picture of the queen mother cutting the tape to open the Library in 1959


International Organisations:

Makerere University Library is a designated Depository for the United Nations and a number of other International Bodies.

UN –Official Document System (ODS)

ODS covers all types of official United Nations documentation, beginning in 1993. Older UN documents are, however, added to the system on a daily basis. ODS also provides access to the resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 on wards. The system does not contain press releases, UN sales publications, the United Nations Treaty Series or information brochures issued by the Department of Public Information.

For more information Contact:

Miss Rhoda Nalubega: Head Africana section

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