Africa and the New Imperialism

European Borders on the African Continent, 1870-1914

The most extensive resource covering Africa in the age of new imperialism; a major period of colonial expansion that sent shockwaves throughout the continent, the effects of which are still felt today.

Uncover the history of European colonisation and exploitation across the African continent drawing upon the rare printed works, diaries and journals, correspondence, maps, photographs, and film footage available within this resource.

Africa and the New Imperialism: European Borders on the African Continent, 1870-1914 is an essential resource for researching Africa’s encounters with European imperialist regimes and their impact on the lives of peoples across the continent.

  • Diaries, journals and sketch books from key figures including David Livingstone, John Kirk and James Augustus Grant, whose sketchbooks from his Nile expedition are illustrated with watercolours of landscapes and peoples he encountered
  • Correspondence from Roger Casement and the resulting Casement Report which investigated, and confirmed, the atrocities committed in the Congo Free State under King Leopold II
  • British Foreign Office files for the Berlin Conference, the event which ignited the spark of late-nineteenth century European imperialist efforts across Africa
  • Correspondence, journals and reports from French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza that provide ingiht into his expeditions to the Congo Basin; and Brazza's 1905 investigation into injustice, forced labour and the brutality within the French Congo
  • The papers, photographs and correspondence of Frederick Lugard, a British soldier and administrator in Africa, covering British involvement in East Africa and West Africa from the 1870s. Along with the papers of journalist and colonial commentator, Flora Shaw

Access for African institutions

Africa and the New Imperialism will be permanently and freely available to the national libraries and archives of all countries within the African continent, including:

  • Each federal site of the South African National Archives
  • The two branches of the National Library of South Africa
  • All African universities outside Egypt and South Africa

To arrange access, AM asks that librarians, academics or staff from institutions who are eligible for access get in touch with us via our contact form where we ask you to provide contact details for your institution.

Our Customer Support team will then send you our standard free access Licence Agreement. Once this has been signed, we will set up full, IP authorised access for your institution.

AM asks that if you are an undergraduate student at an eligible institution, please refer your librarian to this page or the contact form and ask them to get in touch on behalf of your institution.

Key data

Period covered


Source archives

  • Archives nationales d’outre-mer
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
  • British Film Institute
  • British Library
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Sanford Museum, Florida
  • School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Senate House Library, University of London
  • The National Archives, UK
  • University of Birmingham Library
  • Diplomacy
  • Imperialism
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Religion and missionaries
  • Resistance to colonialism
  • Slavery and forced labour
  • Technology and infrastructure
  • War and violence
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries and journals
  • Drawings and artwork
  • Film
  • Financial documents
  • Government documents and reports
  • Illustrations
  • Maps
  • Memorandums
  • Minutes
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Notebooks
  • Pamphlets
  • Periodicals
  • Printed books
  • Telegrams
  • Treaties
  • Chukwuemeka Agbo, Alex Ekwueme Federal University
  • Marianna Bechhaus-Gerst, University of Cologne
  • Lindsay Braun, University of Oregan
  • Natasha Erlank, University of Johannesburg
  • Jeremiah Garsha, University College Dublin
  • Tapiwa Madimu, Rhodes University
  • Mary Owusu, Carleton University
  • Dean Pavlakis, Carroll College
  • Christopher Prior, University of Southampton
  • Michelle Moyd, Indiana Univeristy
  • Egodi Uchendu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Adrian Wisnicki, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • William Worger, University of California, Los Angeles
  • African Studies
  • Communities, Peoples and Nations
  • Ethnic and Indigenous Studies
  • European Studies
  • Migration and Border Studies
  • War and Conflict