All the roads that lead to Cabo Verde

Sandy panorama in Boa Vista (Image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

Sandy panorama in Boa Vista (Image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

New acquisitions in Portuguese language at the University Library are not limited to material published in Brazil or Portugal. The Library also aims to actively collect books published elsewhere in the Portuguese-speaking world. With a population of little more than 500.000 people, print runs from Cape Verde are bound to be short. Therefore, buying material from these remote islands is not an easy task, as is also the case with acquisitions from the Francophone areas (see our post on acquisitions from Haiti for example).

Despite the infinite advantages that the internet offers to librarians today, it is often not really straightforward to know who publishes what, let alone to be able to get a copy of it. So one can understand why in the past the Library purchased very few imprints from Cape Verde. The earliest book in our holdings is  Antologia temática de poesia africana: Cabo Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Guiné, Angola, Moçambique,  published in Praia in 1980 (classmark: 745:23.d.95.111-112).

With time, the growing interest in Lusophone literatures led the searches for titles related to Cape Verde elsewhere and of course the first place to turn to was the metropolis. The publication of books by Cape Verdean authors in Portugal is quite prolific, as our holdings by Germano de Almeida show. One of the head figures in contemporary Cape Verdean literature, Germano de Almeida published 15 books, of which we have 12 (see a list here). All of them were published in Lisbon by Caminho.

A few titles on literary subjects were also bought from Brazil:

  • Literaturas de língua portuguesa : marcos e marcas. Cabo Verde : ilhas do Atlântico, em prosa e verso (classmark: C201.d.7317),
  • Palavra de poeta: Cabo Verde e Angola: entrevistas, antologias, biobibliografias dos maiores poetas de Cabo Verde e Angola (classmark: 745:24.c.95.158),
  • Inquietos olhares : a construção do processo de identidade nacional nas obras de Lídia Jorge e Orlanda Amarílis (classmark: 9003.d.6308).

As you would expect, France also produced excellent publications, mostly in the literary and linguistic fields, of which we can highlight:

  • Les îles du Cap-Vert: langues, mémoires, histoire (classmark : 649:3.c.200.7)
  • Insularité et littérature aux îles du Cap-Vert (translated from the Portuguese, classmark: 9004.d.2464)
  • Le cap-verdien, origines et devenir d’une langue métisse (classmark: 773.c.200.50)
  • Parlons capverdien : langue et culture (classmark: 2004.8.6836)

The good news is that we now have a new vendor based in North America (Meabooks) which specialises in African publications and has recently provided the Library with some old and some recent Cape Verdean imprints that will significantly enrich our collections (see list here). We are very happy about this new collaboration and we are looking forward to the vendor’s next book-buying trip to Cape Verde, which might only happen in 2015! Until then, we will still follow all other possible roads to Cape Verde’s books.

Clara Panozzo

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