Purchasing books from outside of France can sometimes present unique challenges. The publishing industry in France is large and relatively easily monitored; the same cannot always be said for the industry in other French-speaking countries, such as in Haiti and in French-speaking Africa south of the Sahara. We recently discussed issues relating to purchasing books from Haiti, and some of those issues are relevant for the latter area, and it is on recent purchases from this area that this post will focus.
A selection of recent purchases from this region includes :
- Tradition beti et la pratique de ses rites / Engelbert Fouda Etoundi.
Yaounde : Éditions Sopecam, 2012
- Rupture et transversalité de la littérature camerounaise / Marcelline Nnomo, Nol Alembong, Faustin Mvogo (eds).
Yaounde : Éditions CLÉ, 2010
- Prisonnier en Côte d’Ivoire : j’ai vécu l’enfer de la Maca : témoignage / Assalé Tiémoko.
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire : Le Réveil, 2009
- Parole-vertige : essai sur les proverbes moundang (Cameroun-Tchad) / Clément Dili Palaï ; préface de Gabriel Kuitché Fonkou.
Yaoundé : Éditions CLÉ, 2010
- Origines de l’Église évangélique du Cameroun : missions européennes et christianisme autochtone / par Jaap van Slageren.
Yaoundé : Éditions CLÉ, 2009
- Guerre du Liberia : ce que j’ai entendu / Alphonse Voho Sahi ; [préface de Michel Galy].
Abidjan : PUCI, Presses des universités de Côte d’Ivoire, 2009
- Contre l’oubli et le mépris : hommage aux tirailleurs : anthologie de poésie.
Dakar : Éditions Maguilen, 2009
- Art contemporain bantu : deuxième biennale du CICIBA, Kinshasa, juillet 1987 / texte de Badi-Banga Né Mwine.
Libreville, Gabon :Centre international des civilisations bantu, 1987
- Anthologie de poésie sénégalaise.
Dakar : Éditions Maguilen ; Milano : Edizioni dell’Arco, 2002
While our French acquisitions are driven primarily by Livres du mois, the monthly lists of all books published in France, for our acquisitions from the Francophone world outside of Europe and North America we are dependent almost entirely on our vendors – we decide which books to buy based on lists that they send us. Such lists arrive erratically, and simply describe the titles which the vendor has managed to obtain, usually in very small numbers, through personal contacts or on buying trips. When the lists arrive, we need to respond straightaway if we are to obtain the books we select.
The main University Library does not hold extensive collections from any French-speaking country south of the Sahara, and many of our holdings from these countries are Bible Society imprints, publishing Holy Scripture in a wide range of African languages and dialects. Of the 64 books which we hold which were published in Togo, for example, only 14 are in French. In total we have about 500 French language imprints from sub-Saharan Africa. The oldest of these tend to be either Map Room acquisitions or to have entered the collections with the Royal Commonwealth Society. Publications from Senegal account for about 40% of the total. Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Niger are the only other countries where our holdings number more than 50 French language titles.
Although the Library has over 100 books on the terrible genocide in Rwanda, only one of these was published in Kigali. It is one of only 5 French language imprints we hold from Rwanda. Sometimes books arrive from unexpected sources. Several of our 19 books published in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso were presented to the Library when a doctoral student returned from a field trip. Very recently we had the opportunity to order about 20 titles published in Dakar (Senegal) and Cotonou (Benin), and have our fingers crossed that our vendor still has copies in stock which he can send to us.