Access and Borrowing Privileges


The African Studies Library serves the Boston University community as well as the public in providing research and information needs concerning Africa. ASL staff can respond to telephone, mail and email reference requests. For extensive research, please visit the library or consult the library collections online.

Most of the collections of the African Studies Library and the Africa related materials in Mugar Memorial Library and its branches are listed on the online catalog. There are some exceptions:

  • African Government documents and publications acquired by ASL prior to 1982 (J Documents)
  • African Pamphlets
  • African Newspapers
  • African Maps
  • Special Collections (Morgenthau Papers, Karis-Gerhart Collection, Mandela Release Newspapers)
  • Rare Book Collection

There is a card catalog in the ASL for the older “J” document collection. Consult with ASL staff for help using the other uncataloged materials.

Borrowing privileges

Please be advised that the collections within the African Studies Library reading room do not circulate, though occasionally the ASL administration will make exception for local and interlibrary loan and reserve requests.

African Studies materials outside of the reading room follow BU Libraries circulation policies.

Visiting researchers may apply for temporary borrowing privileges in advance at the Mugar Memorial Library Administrative Office (771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, tel. 617-353-3710) by providing name, Boston area address and telephone number, reason for requesting borrowing privileges, and the dates for which privileges are requested.