TRIAL: Africa and the New Imperialism

Sketch of mission houseUntil May 4th, the Library has trial access to a new digital archive produced by AM (formerly Adam Matthew Digital) titled Africa and the New Imperialism: European Borders on the African Continent, 1870-1914.

Africa and the New Imperialism documents the period of rapid colonial expansion by European powers across the African continent during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  

From the accounts of missionaries and European explorers navigating the interior of the continent in the early nineteenth century; to the rise in European desire for increased power, empire and wealth culminating in the Berlin Conference 1885-1886; to the subsequent power struggles, negotiations and conflicts that raged across the continent at the turn of the twentieth century, the documents within Africa and the New Imperialism charts Africa’s encounters with European imperialist regimes and their impact on the lives of peoples across the continent.

Materials in the digital archive were sourced from archives in France and the United Kingdom, under the guidance of the resource’s editorial board.

In recent years AM has made significant advancements in handwritten text recognition (HTR) technology, which first allowed for searching of handwritten documents, then on-the-fly transcription of handwritten documents. This digital archive is hosted on their newest platform, and allows for side-by-side views of the documents and their transcriptions.  (Normally, both the documents and their transcriptions can be downloaded, but our trial access does not allow for downloads. )  While the transcriptions are less than perfect, they can still be helpful with interpreting handwritten documents.