There is an extensive documentary reflection in the United States, as yet only partially known, of American diplomatic, military, commercial, explorative, missionary, philanthropic, educational, scientific and other activities in, and contacts with, Africa over the past three and a half centuries. This vast accumulation, distributed throughout the country, has considerable research potential not only for historians of Africa and of American relations with Africa, but also for Africanists working in various social scientific disciplines.
In order to bring to light and to acquaint interested American and foreign scholars with the entire broad range of Africa-related archival and manuscript materials extant in this country, the African Studies Association sought foundation support for a comprehensive descriptive guide to these materials. The Ford Foundation has awarded a grant of $54,000 to the Association for the production of the guide over a three-year period.
The Archives-Libraries Committee of the Association, under the chairmanship of Dr. William A. Hance, has arranged with the Archivist of the United States for the National Archives and Records Service to assume joint responsibility with ASA for the conduct of the guide project. Morris Rieger, a senior member of the NARS staff, and as ASA Fellow, will serve as project director. The project, which began on February 1, 1964, has been placed under the immediate jurisdiction of the National Historical Publications Commission, a body, linked to NARS, of which the Archivist is Chairman. This link will give the project the valuable advantage of NHPC's close ties with archival and manuscript depositories throughout the country.