Collecting Literary Archives in Malawi: Beginnings

The conference of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa) was held at the University of Birmingham on Monday 10 September 2018, with the subject of African literary archives, and the pleasing title of Things come together?

The conference ranged over topics including papers of literary authors from South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi; the African literary archives which are owned by institutions in the USA and the UK; and Diasporic Literary Archives in Namibia and Cameroon.

One of the SCOLMA speakers was Clement Mweso of the National Archives of Malawi, who told the meeting that David Sutton’s presentation at ESARBICA, Lilongwe, August 2017, had inspired the National Archives of Malawi to begin a programme of collecting literary archives.

Clement Mweso described the work of Malawian archivists on the archive of the late Steve Chimombo, including the typical tasks of literary archivists worldwide – from arranging and sorting the papers to discussing and negotiating with the author’s family.

The Diasporic Literary Archives Network will commit to work with our Malawian colleagues as this project develops.

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