Literary Archives in Cameroon II

The Annual Conference of the International Council on Archives (ICA), held in Yaoundé, 26-28 November 2018, received two update reports about our project on Literary Archives in Cameroon, and the considerable progress that has been made since the seminars held in Yaoundé in February 2018.

The National Archives of Cameroon has been agreed as the principal repository for the collecting of literary archives in the country, following the example of Namibia.

Since the seminars held in February, archivists and volunteers have been travelling the country and contacting some of the best-known literary authors in Cameroon to enquire about their archives and their wishes. As many as fifty archival collections have already arrived in the National Archives of Cameroon as a result of this activity, which has been generously supported by funding from FIDA (the Fund for International Development in Archives). One of the highlights has been the Wamakoul notebook of the author Pabé Mongo, a fascinating writer’s journal which Mongo kept during the writing of his celebrated picaresque novel L’homme de la rue, exploring the development of his character Wamakoul.

The Diasporic Literary Archives team is committed to continuing work with our partners in Namibia and Cameroon, and to sharing the experiences (and the joys) of collecting literary archives – particularly with colleagues in countries which have not yet begun to collect literary papers.

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