Aluka – Free until June 2008

AlukaAluka, an “online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa,” is accessible for free (when you create an account) until June of this year.

In January, AHA Today noted Aluka’s participation in a digital history session at the Annual Meeting (see “From Dusty to Digital: New Historical Archives of the Twenty-First Century”). At the session, alongside other presenters showing off their digital collections, Aluka’s Javanica Curry, assistant director for Library Relations, detailed some of the site’s unique features, like user-created tags.

Aluka contains over 300,000 items within 90 collections. All of the site’s contents are separated into three general categories: African Plants, Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes, and Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa. The types of materials available include “letters, oral histories, travelogues, government memoranda, and trial transcripts to photographs, books, serials, 3-D models, and GIS data sets.”

The site allows users to approach the material in a variety of different ways. Use typical options like general and advanced searches, or browse the collections in a more serendipitous way, through the featured content section or the picture of the day, available on the home page.

Researchers who find Aluka useful will probably enjoy the “My Aluka” section of the site, which allows users to tag materials in Aluka (for your use and for others), collect annotations, and save searches.

Explore Aluka for yourself before the free trial is over. And, be sure to visit Aluka’s blog, which provides “insights into the Aluka community.”

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  1. Mills Kelly

    It’s too bad that this excellent web resource will shortly go behind the premium content wall. Aluka is an excellent research resource for students, but after June 2008, will be available only for students at the colleges and universities that can afford it—effectively cutting off more than 50% of all college students in the United States alone, never mind those in Africa who attend institutions lacking the resources to pay for premium content.

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