European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS)

Image: 2015 ELIAS meeting at Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations (BULAC) in Paris, H. Bergenthum

European Librarians in African Studies (ELIAS) is an informal network for all librarians, archivists, documentalists or other information professionals working with materials from and about Africa in institutions within Europe. ELIAS’s members work in a variety of institutions including libraries, archives, organisations, NGOs etc. 

The aims of ELIAS are: 

  • To promote information and accessibility of African resource materials of any kind;
  • To promote exchange and cooperation amongst its members;
  • To promote exchange and cooperation with those in other countries, particularly in Africa, with similar concerns;
  • To provide activities, platforms and tools to achieve its aims and objectives.

The ELIAS network was established in 2005 by Africanist librarians based in the UK. The network meets once a year at one of its member institutions to exchange knowledge and information on African resource materials. 

Past ELIAS meetings have been held in Leiden (2007), Paris (2008), Leipzig (2009), London (2010), Uppsala (2011), Basel (2012), Lisbon (2013), Frankfurt (2014), Paris (2015), Tervuren (2016), Basel (2017), Vienna (2018), Edinburgh (2019), Bordeaux (2022) and Cologne (2023). The 2020 annual meeting was held online. 

In 2024 a joint ELIAS-SCOLMA meeting was held at the National Archives in London, Friday 23 May 2024.

For more information on past ELIAS meetings see the ELIAS webpage.

If you are interested in joining the ELIAS network, please send an email to Jos Damen (ASC Leiden):