Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ASAIB Newsletter October 2005



AGM November 2005
Awards for best index and bibliography
New ASAIB Blog
ASAIB Conference alert 2006
IGBIS/ASAIB Pre-conference workshop
LIASA workshops
SI Conference (UK)
Cruden's window on the Bible
The Bodleian/Google library project in Oxford
Article: Should universities be taken to book?
Annual report 2005
Book reviews

ASAIB AGM November 2005

The ASAIB AGM was held at the Wits Club on 24 November in the form of a breakfast. Joan Rankin, a well known writer and illustrator of children’s books, was a delightful speaker and brought many books along for us to handle and discover the world of the illustrator. After Marlene Burger discussed highlights from the 2005 annual report (see the full report in this newsletter), she presented the awards for the best index and bibliography (2004-2005) to Abdul Bemath (bibliography) and Marina Pearson (index), as well as a special award to Beth Strachan for her outstanding work on South African bibliographies over a number of years. This AGM was a wonderful event and members had the chance to chat and exchange information.

A full write-up of the books discussed by Joan Rankin, will later be available on the ASAIB website www.asaib.org.za


Awards for best index and bibliography 2005

Congratulations to Abdul Bemath and Marina Pearson. You are worthy winners of the awards. Thank you to all others who submitted their indexes and bibliographies for evaluation. In 2006 we will also add a category for electronic indexes and bibliographies.

To Abdul Bemath for his book:
Bemath, Abdul Samed (comp). 2005. The Mazruiana collection revisited: Ali A Mazrui debating the African condition: an annotated and select thematic bibliography 1962-2003. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa & New Dawn Press.

To Marina Pearson for her index to:
Coetzer, JAW & Tustun, RC (eds). 2004. Infectious diseases of livestock. Cape Town: Oxford Southern Africa. 3 volumes.


New ASAIB Blog
ASAIB strives to keep up to date with the latest technologies. For that reason, the ASAIB committee created and published an ASAIB Blog.

For those who are not aware of what a blog is, it is in essence an online diary. This makes for the ideal place to post messages and reports of ASAIB events and even the ASAIB newsletter. The Blog can never replace the ASAIB website. It is merely supplementary to it. You will still find all the important ASAIB information on the
ASAIB website, whereas the Blog will often be the place where you will find it first.

Please visit the ASAIB Blog at http://www.saindexers.blogspot.com and
let us have your comments. You could also send your postings to Karin McGuirk (mcguik@unisa.ac.za ), Marlene Burger (burgem@unisa.ac.za ) or Madely du Preez (preezm@unisa.ac.za ) for publication on the Blog. [Madely du Preez]



International Conference, 11 and 12 May 2006
At the Military Museum, Johannesburg

11 May will be devoted to the presentation of papers
12 May we will visit two libraries with outstanding Africana collections

For details regarding costs, venue particulars, programme, and call for papers, consult the ASAIB website www.asaib.org.za early in 2006

Contact: Marlene Burger at burgem@unisa.ac.za (012 4296585)
Madely du Preez at preezm@unisa.ac.za (012 4296792)


[Asaib] IGBIS Pre‑Conference Workshop on Indexing Basics ‑ Marlene Burger (Presented at the LIASA Conference 2005 held at the Tshwane University of Technology, Nelspruit, 26 September).

The invitation to the workshop said: “If you are in need of elementary indexing skills to cope with small indexing projects, this workshop is for you”. Due to the interest in this workshop, the presenter first had to find out what kind of indexing is needed in actual practice, especially in smaller institutions. The programme was compiled accordingly.

The Workshop was presented by Marlene Burger on behalf of IGBIS (Interest Group for Bibliographic Standards). The programme included lectures and plenty of exercises covering books, articles, photographs, community information, objects, CD’s, etc. The workshop was well-represented by novice indexers (including one or two experienced indexers!) who worked very hard with great enthusiasm. Thank you all for an enjoyable experience.

LIASA 2005: e‑books in libraries – Prof Peter Underwood

The Centre for Information Literacy, University of Cape Town, presented two workshops about e‑books at the LIASA 2005 Conference, in Nelspruit.

Pre‑Conference Workshop: Evaluating e‑books (Monday 26 September)
1. Exploration of types of e‑book publishing and a publishing chronology
2. Advantages and disadvantages of e‑books in the library
3. Implications for Information Literacy
4. Developing and testing evaluation criteria for the range of e‑books currently being made available to libraries, resource centres and information services.

Participants were introduced to an understanding of the meaning of the term 'e‑book', the advantages (and disadvantages) of the medium, the nature and content of e‑books, and learned to evaluate the range of e‑books available: for example, reference, monograph, fiction, textbook. Participants became familiar with a range of e‑book publishers and aggregators, as well as the range of readers and reader software commonly used.

Post‑Conference Workshop: Managing e‑book collections (Friday 30
1. Exploration of types of e‑book publishing and a publishing chronology
2. Collection management principles for e‑books
3. Collection Development Policies (CDP) for e‑books

Participants were introduced to the nature and content of e‑books. The workshop provided opportunities to understand bibliographical control of the medium, and found out how to locate and access e‑books. Participants appreciated the collection management issues surrounding selection, acquisition and provision of e‑books (including licensing, archiving, hardware and infrastructure issues, evaluation of use, and access), and the value and content of a CDP. Finally, the workshop offered an opportunity to explore the different methods of the promoting e‑book collections.

Working in the Present – Learning from the Past

The Society of Indexers’ conference in 2005 was held at Exeter University, a beautiful campus in the southwest of England. We were accommodated in halls at the very top of a hill, and the dining room had magnificent panoramic views over the countryside and down into the ancient cathedral city.

To reach the lecture halls, we walked, in brilliant summer weather, through an arboretum – a fascinating collection of trees, interspersed with sculptures which made up a sculpture trail comprised of works by many well-known artists including Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

The scene is set – what of the conference? As ever, the content was varied to suit all tastes. Topics ranged from gardening, the Dictionary of National Biography, indexing of images, the myth of reusable indexes (reprinted in The Indexer) to seminars on a huge variety of subjects: science, social sciences, military indexes, educational texts and much more. The mix of conference papers with more informal seminars and workshops means that there was always something going on for all tastes.

In many ways, the major advantage of conferences is the opportunity to network, and the noise levels at coffee times and meal times reflected that. SI always tries to involve publishers and editors in the conference presentation, and this gives an opportunity for people to talk directly to them during the breaks. Many good contacts have been made this way.

The Wheatley Medal, the SI award for an outstanding index, was presented during the conference by Professor John Sutherland, the new President of SI, to Hazel Bell for her index to Seven pillars of wisdom: the complete 1922 Oxford text, by TE Lawrence (published in 2004 by J and N Wilson).

SI always welcomes members of other societies to its conference, so any ASAIB members travelling in the UK during the summer months (usually July) should think about taking in the conference. The 2006 conference will be held in Durham, another ancient cathedral city, in the northeast of England. The conference in 2007 will be a major event, to be held in London. It will be the 50th anniversary of the founding of SI, and the Society is planning a celebratory event and guests from the other indexing societies will be particularly welcome.

Jill Halliday
International Representative for SI

Cruden's window on the Bible

Of the many types of index encountered and used by scholars and librarians, the concordance must surely be one of the most complex. The dictionary defines it as: 'An alphabetical arrangement of the words contained in a book with citations of the passages in which they occur', which somehow makes it sound simpler than it really is. The concept of the concordance goes back to medieval times for use by religious bodies, Christian as well as Jewish, when parts of the scriptures were thus analysed. There were a surprising number of them in use. But it was not until the eighteenth century that the whole Bible was indexed in this manner. 'Cruden's Concordance' was a familiar title in one's list of reference books in student days, but little was known about the man behind its compilation. The title, Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to which is added a concordance to the books called Apocrypha, leaves one in no doubt as to the formidable nature of the undertaking.

Alexander Cruden (1701-1770) was an Aberdonian scholar, proof-reader and eventually a bookseller in London. In the midst of a turbulent and sometimes violent life, he managed to produce his monumental concordance in 1737. It seems that he was not another Dr Samuel Johnson in wanting to increase the sum of human knowledge. Cruden was a fanatical Calvininst who called himself 'Alexander the Corrector' with a direct line to God and who attacked, verbally and physically, those whom he suspected of violating the Sabbath and using blasphemous language. His activities caused him to be incarcerated in asylums at various times, and from which he escaped once or twice in an ingenious manner. He was also litigious by nature and so trouble and notoriety were his constant companions. Under these trying circumstances he nonetheless saw the concordance through three editions before his death; many more were to follow. His analysis of the texts was comprehensive, the references were accurate, and although he was ridiculed by students when he visited Oxford and Cambridge, the academic community recognised the scholarly quality of his work. Another remarkable intellectual feat was to provide, verbally, an index for Thomas Newton, bishop of Bristol, to accompany his edition of Milton's works in 1669. Cruden died in the next year.

Cruden's concordance superseded all earlier indexes of the scriptures. Only many years later, in the nineteenth century, was his volume superseded by an expansion which combined the English with a Greek and Hebrew concordance. Subsequently, many revisions and variations have appeared, often with a special emphasis according to the needs of the user. The obvious value of biblical concordances stimulated the application of the method to the literary field, where we have comprehensive concordances to Dante, Shakespeare, Browning and many others.

Yvonne Garson

The Bodleian/Google library project in Oxford

Ronald Milne (Acting Director, Oxford University Library Services and Bodley's Librarian, UK) was one of the main speakers during the plenary sessions at The Third International Conference on the Book: Access, Diversity and Democracy, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 11-13 September 2005.

His presentation, entitled 'Upholding Bodley's vision: the Google Library Project in Oxford', was very informative. The project is seen as an extension of Sir Thomas Bodley's dream, since 1602 when he founded the Bodleian Library in Oxford, for the then new library to "serve not just the University of Oxford, but [to] be open to all who had need." The project extends this ethos by means appropriate to the so-called Digital Age.

A certain amount of digitisation of early printed material has already been undertaken, but the Oxford Google Project specifically plans to undertake the digitisation of nineteenth-century public domain material. Most of this material is held in the Bodleian Library, but will also include related material held in the other libraries within the University of Oxford. An expected 1 to 1.5 million out-of-copyright books will be digitised! The digitised books will be navigable, including a link from the Oxford catalogue to the digital copy. A complete copy of a digitised, individual work within the Oxford programme, can be made available over the Internet subject to certain constraints protecting Google's investment.

Even though the process of digitisation will be on an industrial scale, that is, digitising everything within Oxford's nineteenth-century printed collections, Oxford retains the right to exclude material that are too fragile even for the non-intrusive scanning technology provided by Google. The nineteenth-century material collection is immense in scope and covers an extremely wide range of interests. All related material in every subject field will be digitised (academic books and journals), as well as initial non-academic material such as travel guides, trade and post office directories, recreational magazines, and railway timetables.

The expectation is that the outcome of the project will be of great value not only to scholars, but also to the intellectually curious worldwide. This project is a step in the direction of 'access for all' through the facilitation of access to information resources. There are still hiccups to sort out, and we will watch the progress of the project with interest.

Karin McGuirk


Should universities be taken to book?
Courtesy Jackie Kalley

The New York Times

May 14, 2005

College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age

HOUSTON, May 13 ‑ Students attending the University of Texas at Austin
will find something missing from the undergraduate library this fall.


By mid‑July, the university says, almost all of the library's 90,000 volumes will be dispersed to other university collections to clear space for a 24‑hour electronic information commons, a fast‑spreading phenomenon that is transforming research and study on campuses around the country.

"In this information‑seeking America, I can't think of anyone who would elect to build a books‑only library," said Fred Heath, vice provost of the University of Texas Libraries in Austin.

Their new version is to include "software suites" ‑ modules with computers where students can work collaboratively at all hours ‑ an expanded center for writing instruction, and a center for computer training, technical assistance and repair.

Such digital learning laboratories, staffed with Internet‑expert librarians, teachers and technicians, have been advancing on traditional college libraries since appearing at the University of Southern California in 1994. As more texts become accessible online, libraries have been moving lesser‑used materials to storage. But experts said it was symbolic for a top educational institution like Texas to empty a library of books.

The trend is being driven, academicians and librarians say, by the dwindling need for undergraduate libraries, many of which were built when leading research libraries were reserved for graduate students and faculty. But those distinctions have largely crumbled, with research libraries throwing open their stacks, leaving undergraduate libraries as increasingly puny adjuncts with duplicate collections and shelves of light reading.

Mr Heath said removal of the books had raised some eyebrows among the faculty and anxiety among the library staff. But he said the concerns were needless. "Books are the fundamental icon of intellectual efforts," he said, "the scholarly communication of our time."

So, Mr Heath said, speaking of the library, "if you move it, there's a pang, a sense of loss." He added that the books were merely being moved within the university's library system, one of the nation's largest, home to some 8 million volumes and growing by 100,000 a year. Basic reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias will remain.

The move, Mr Heath said, would free about 6,000 square feet in the four‑story Flawn Academic Center, which opened in 1963.

Students at Texas, interviewed as they studied or lounged at the library tables, said that they would welcome extra computer space and that they got most of their books anyway at the far larger Perry‑CastaƱeda Library. But some said they liked the popular selection at the undergraduate library and feared the loss of a familiar and congenial space.

"Well, this is a library ‑ it's supposed to have books in it," said Jessica Zaharias, a senior in business management. "You can't really replace books. There's plenty of libraries where they have study rooms. This is a nice place for students to come to. It's central in campus."

Library staff members said they were taken by surprise when told last month of the conversion, which is how the news first emerged. At a retreat just weeks earlier they had brainstormed about ways to improve service and save money. They said they had been promised reassignment after the conversion and feared speaking out publicly at the risk of jeopardizing their jobs.

Many specialists said Texas was going along with an accelerating trend.

"The library is not so much a space where books are held as where ideas are shared," said Geneva Henry, executive director of the digital library initiative at Rice University in Houston, where anyone can access and augment course materials in a program called Connexions. "It's having a conversation rather than homing in on the book."

"We're teaching students how to do research," Ms Henry said. "Their first reaction is to Google. But they need to validate their information and dig deeper."

Carole Wedge, president of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott, an architecture firm in Boston that has redesigned dozens of college libraries for the computer age, said most were built "as boxes to house print collections." The challenge, Ms Wedge said, is to adapt them to what she called "the Barnes & Noble culture, making reading and learning a blurred experience."

Rarely do today's students hunt for a book in the stacks, she said. Now they go online and may end up with a book, but also a DVD or other medium. But, she said, "it's unlikely there will be libraries without books for a long time."

Significantly, librarians are big supporters of the trend.

"There's a real transition going on," said Sarah Thomas, past president of the Association of Research Libraries and the librarian at the Cornell University Library in Ithaca, N.Y. "This is not to say you don't have paper or books. Of course, they're sacred. But more and more we're delivering material to the user as opposed to the user coming into the library to get it."

Southern California, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of its electronic center, called Gateway, last October, keeps about 80,000 books at Gateway, although millions more are available at the university's 15 other libraries, said Lynn O'Leary‑Archer, director of the university libraries.

Similar digital library centers have been built at Emory University in Atlanta, the University of Georgia, the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan. The University of Houston, which is doubling its library space, specializes in the publishing of scholarly material online.

"This is a new generation, born with a chip," said Frances Maloy, president of the Association of College and Research Libraries and leader of access services at Emory. "A student sends an e‑mail at 2 a.m. and wonders by 8 a.m. why the professor hasn't responded."

Ms Maloy praised the initiative at the University of Texas as signifying "that a great university with a fabulous library collection recognizes it's in the digital age."

Nathan Levy contributed reporting from Austin, Tex., for this article.


Report 2005 by the Chairperson, Marlene Burger

The year 2005 was a good year for ASAIB. For this, I must thank the members of the Executive Committee for their input, participation and hard work regarding all activities. The main events of the period were the following:

1.1 ASAIB has published two newsletters in electronic format, containing interesting reports, articles and book reviews. They were also published on the ASAIB website. Hard copies were sent to members without electronic contact details.
1.2 The proceedings of our annual conference, Beyond Book Indexing, have been compiled and were published.
1.3 An updated Directory of Available Indexers is available and can be
consulted on the ASAIB website. It can also be accessed by
subject. Thank you, Madely du Preez for this time-consuming task.
1.4 ASAIB has completed the manual, Indexing for Southern Africa. Dr Jacqueline Kalley, Elna Schoeman and Marlene Burger are the editors. It is now at the setters.
1.5 The executive committee has compiled all the conference proceedings for 1994-2004 in a single volume. It has been retyped and will be published in 2006. We still have some of the booklets containing the proceedings of each year available and can be ordered from Madely du Preez at preezm@unisa.ac.za

2.1 The annual conference has been postponed and will take place on 11 and 12 May 2006 in Johannesburg. The title is Africana: from Papyrus to Metadata and will be an international conference.

3.1 A book indexing workshop was presented in Cape Town on 15
and 16 February 2005.
3.2 A pre-conference workshop on basic indexing skills was presented in Nelspruit, as part of the Liasa Annual Conference 2005 programme.

4.1 The web page can be accessed at www.asaib.org.za
For contributions, comments, suggestions, etc, Marlene Burger at
burgem@unisa.ac.za can be contacted.

5.1 We are still a small professional society, but membership has
grown and we now have 152 members. A warm welcome to all
new members.

6.1 ASAIB was not represented at the annual SI conference in the UK.
However, the executive committee had constant contact with the SI, as well as with the ASI.

7.1 The Western Cape Branch, with Mary Lennox as chairperson,
organised a book indexing workshop early in 2005. The workshop
was presented by Marlene Burger. No report for 2005 was
received from this branch.
7.2 The KwaZulu-Natal Branch stopped functioning as a branch since
the chairperson, Umashanie Reddy, emigrated to Canada. A
renewed effort will be made in 2006 to revive this branch.

8.1 Abdul Bemath received the award for the best bibliography
published in 2005, and Marina Pearson for the best index published
in 2004.
8.2 Beth Strachan received a special award for her outstanding work
on bibliographies in South Africa over a number of years.
8.3 In 2006 a new category for electronic indexes and bibliographies
will be added.

9.1 ASAIB will continue with indexing workshops. For 2006, workshops in Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal and Namibia, are planned. We will consider all suggestions regarding training.
9.2 We will investigate
better marketing strategies for ASAIB
Web indexing
more international participation
9.3 The 2006 conference will be in Johannesburg on 11 and 12 May. Details will be published on the ASAIB website.

One of our members, Christie Theron, passed away on 2 January 2005.
He was a valued member of the Executive Committee and will be remembered for his enthusiasm and friendliness.

ASAIB is well-established in the indexing environment in the Southern African region, and we hope to continue to make a worthwhile contribution.


Weblogs and libraries. By Laurel A. Clyde. Oxford: Chandos Publishing, 2004. 181 pp. 39.00 pounds soft ISBN 1843340852

One of Anne Clyde’s interests is research on the use of the Internet and online information services. Some of the projects she is working on are related to the development of school library websites. Weblogs and libraries is one of her many publications in this field. In it she discusses weblogs and libraries from two main perspectives: weblogs as sources of information, and weblogs as tools that could be used to promote library services or to provide a means of communication withlibrary clients (p.xx). The book begins with an overview of the weblog and blogging phenomenon and traces its development over the past few years.

Chapter 2 discusses weblogs as sources of current information, showing why the format of weblogs is perfect for current awareness services and advising on the evaluation of weblogs as information sources. Weblogs in the field of library and information science are the focus of Chapter 4 where they are considered from a number of different perspectives. These perspectives are based on who the weblog creator is and what the purpose of the weblog is. Chapter 5 attempts to provide a picture of the ‘state of the art’ of library weblogs (that is weblogs created and maintained by libraries). The aim of this study was to identify the kinds of libraries that have weblogs, to investigate the way library weblogs are being maintained, the purposes for which they were created, the intended audience, the content of the weblogs and some indicators of commitment to the library’s weblog project.

Although weblogs could be valuable sources of information, they are just as difficult to find. Chapter 3 is dedicated to a discussion on directories of weblogs and search engines for weblogs as well as some other useful strategies such as the use of weblog software sites, lists provided on weblogs and meta sites about weblogs. It thus attempts to assist readers in finding valuable information that could suit their specific needs.

Chapter 6 provides basic information about weblog software, weblog hosting and special features of weblogs while Chapter 7 provides information about the ongoing maintenance and management of a library weblog.

Weblogs and libraries reads easily, includes valuable references, bibliographies at the end of each chapter and a useful index. It concludes with selective lists where further information about weblogs and blogging can be found in printed sources, in web-based sources and in a number of specialist weblogs. This useful book can, be highly recommended to all interested in weblogs and the blogging phenomenon.
Reviewed by: Madely du Preez

Previously published in Online Information Review, vol. 29, no. 4, 2005 (p 432-433)

Bemath, Abdul Samed (comp). 2005. The Mazruiana collection revisited: Ali A Mazrui debating the African condition: an annotated and select thematic bibliography 1962-2003. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa & New Dawn Press. ISBN 1 932705 37 6 426 p.

This book is a revised and expanded edition of the Mazuiriana collection (published in 1998) compiled by Abdul Bemath, covering the writings and speeches of Ali Mazrui. Ali A Mazrui is one of Africa’s great thinkers and writers and many of the writings in this collection deal with issues pertaining to the co-mingling of the traditions that have influenced Africa’s heritage, such as endogenous African, Western culture, and Islam. Other subjects covered range from terrorism, globalisation, and dialogue of civilisations to technology transfer in the computer age. This new edition consists of 650 annotated entries covering Mazrui’s books, dissertations, edited works about him, major essays in books, academic journals and conference papers. Pamphlets, magazine and newspaper articles, and audiovisual recordings are also included.

From the extracts of reviews appearing in the preliminary pages to the book, the following have been selected to highlight the international value placed on this work. According to Terry Barringer (African Studies Centre, Cambridge University) the annotations are informative, providing summaries of content, without attempting evaluation; competent author and subject indexes enable the user to navigate with ease. Charles Armour (in The Journal of Modern African Studies) states that ‘… future Africanist historiographers will find this collection most valuable, not least in following up the cited reviews of Ali Mazrui’s publications and exploring the controversies they provoked.’ Abdul Bemath’s bibliography is not only an essential guide to Professor Mazrui’s works: It is a monumental work of diligence and scholarship by Abdul Bemath, a tribute not only to its subject but an outstanding example of the bibliographer’s art – as stated by Michael Holman, Former Africa Editor, Financial Times Newspaper, London.

Apart from preliminaries such as acknowledgements, an introduction to the bibliography, and an essay by Bemath on his interest in Mazrui, the bibliography itself is divided into five sections comprising Mazrui publications (Books, edited works and dissertations; Pamphlets and monographs; Major academic articles in books, periodicals, and select conference papers; Magazine and newspaper articles; and Radio, television and video recordings). The next part consists of a select thematic bibliography, major works on Mazrui, essays on and by Mazrui, Africanist scholarship, the triple heritage and global governance, Mazrui and gender, and petro-militarism and globalisation. The final part contains various lists, namely journals cited, acronyms used, subject index, author index, and finally a biographical sketch of Bemath and Mazrui.

The annotated entries are arranged chronologically from 2003 to 1962 according to a numbered sequence (the index refers to these numbers rather than page numbers). The majority of Mazrui’s articles are in English with some in French, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Turkish and Spanish, and the annotations have been translated into English. Each annotation has author and subject keywords. Since Mazrui is the principal author of most of the publications of the five sections of the main bibliography, they are entered under title (however, co-authors, editors, and so on, are indicated). Full bibliographic details are provided for each entry, followed by an annotation – annotations vary in length from brief to quite long (the latter are often in the instance of books where Bemath felt it useful to point out certain chapters).

In the select thematic bibliography of AA Mazrui’s writings, six major themes are focussed on: Oil, the Nuclear debate, Globalisation, the Gender debate, Language and literature and its impact on Africa, and the Clash of civilisations debate. These entries are arranged and presented as in the foregoing sections, but there are no annotations since the numbers of the entries refer to the entry number of the article in the main bibliography. Each of the six themes is preceded by a brief introduction to the relevant theme. This is the last of the bibliographic annotated sections. The final part of the work consists of various essays regarding Mazrui, that is Africanist scholarship, triple heritage and global governance, gender, petro-militarism and globalisation. Even though without annotations, these essays contain many source references with footnotes, end notes and bibliographies.

The list of journals cited is arranged alphabetically according to journal title. Place and/or country names are added to most titles, firstly to reflect the wide geographic area where publications by/on Mazrui can be found, and secondly to differentiate between similar titles. The list of acronyms is useful, since they are often used in the annotations and/or text. The author index refers to bibliographic entry numbers and includes personal names as well as corporate names (e.g. associations, conferences, meetings). Some of the entries in the author index are subdivided by subject so as not to have a large block of numbers, but perhaps entries for Amin, Kenyatta, Nkrumah, Nyerere, and Obote are in need of subdivisions since the many entry numbers under these names can result in frustrating searches for specific information.

The subject index is one of the best features of the book. It is arranged alphabetically with references to bibliographic entry numbers, and is a two-level index (i.e. only one subdivision (indent) per subject entry is used). This makes the display of the index easy on the eye and location of specific subjects without problems – the subdivisions are, in their turn, arranged alphabetically. As with the author index with a large block of numbers, a long list of subdivisions can be just as tiresome, but in the subject index it cannot be helped that subjects such as ‘Africa’ and ‘Islam’ have almost two pages of subdivisions. Bemath is not only an excellent bibliographer, but also an outstanding indexer.

In conclusion, ‘The Mazruiana Collection is the best reference work on Africa’ – Africana Librarians Council, USA & Library of Congress (India).

Reviewed by: Marlene Burger