Leroy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive, 1952-1998 and undated

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Africa News Service
606.6 Linear Feet
439,500 Items
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The LeRoy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive is an extensive resource file assembled by ANS over the course of two decades in support of its news gathering efforts about Africa-related issues and U. S. foreign policy towards Africa. The collection spans the years from approximately 1960 to 1995, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1978 through 1994. Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, press releases, newsletters, brochures, and reports comprise the collection. Much of the material is gathered from mainstream media sources and government documentation in the United States, Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world. In addition, the collection includes significant resources from alternative, minority, and special interest presses world-wide that may be difficult to locate elsewhere. The archive contains scarce and difficult-to-locate materials such as numerous publications produced by non-governmental organizations and grass-roots/community groups that are/were involved in efforts related to independence movements, economic development, and human rights issues in Africa.

The archive is arranged in several series that provide a perspective on African politics and development from almost every country in the world. The heart of the archives is comprised of files about each African country. There are also significant files on U.S. politics and foreign policy and the United Nations. As ANS is located in North Carolina, there was a specific effort to document the activities and interests of North Carolinians as related to African issues. The archive encompasses a wide range of topics including agriculture, children, economics, education, health, history, politics, peace negotiations, social conditions, war, wildlife, and women. There are files on individuals, media organizations, political and cultural groups, corporations, and lobbyists. The collection documents the movement for African independence and economic development in the latter half of the twentieth century.

The archive is named in honor of LeRoy T. Walker, long-time supporter and honorary chair of the ANS Board of Directors. Mr. Walker is president-emeritus of the U. S. Olympic Committee and chancellor-emeritus of North Carolina Central University. A past president of The Athletic Congress, he has had a multi-faceted career in sports, physical education and educational administration; he has received numerous honors and honorary degrees. He has coached U. S. Olympic teams and trained and coached many African and American athletes. In the 1960s he served as director of programming and training for Africa at the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C.

Also transferred with the archive is a large number of Africa-related books, periodicals, and other printed materials. These items are being integrated and cataloged as part of Perkins Library's holdings on Africa and are identified in the on-line catalog by the (corporate) author entry: Africa News Service (Durham, N.C.) Archives.

The addition (9450 items, dated 1952-1993 and undated, bulk 1952-ca. 1980, 18.20 linear feet) contains resource files, newspaper clippings and other media, and periodicals, books, and pamphlets on various topics pertaining to South Africa and Southern Africa (especially Rhodesia and Zimbabwe). Topics include labor, industry, the economy, and foreign trade with South Africa; social conditions in South Africa including the state of Indian South Africans; and student, Christian, and other political movements against apartheid, including the National Union of South African Students and the University Christian Movement. Also includes 3 black-and-white photographs, and 3 microfiche. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Collection of African and African-American Documentation. (01-156)

Biographical / historical:

Africa News Service (ANS) is a non-profit U. S. news agency founded in 1973. It is a leading information source on Africa in the United States and works in partnership with African news agencies and periodicals to make available current and background materials on all aspects of African life, politics, and culture. Through its efforts, coverage of Africa has been more frequent, more substantive, and more accurate, filling a vital gap for policy makers, educators, journalists, diplomats, scientists, religious groups, development analysts, and business and labor leaders. Widely known for its periodical Africa News, the award winning ANS also prepares special articles and series for major newspapers and broadcast programs and provides behind-the-scenes consultation and briefing for news agencies and individual journalists. Keeping pace with innovative computer technologies, ANS shifted in 1993 from printed to electronic publication by establishing Africa News Online. Through this on-line service ANS engages in computerized news gathering and distribution and e-mail communications with reporters in Africa. This on-line service is distributed commercially by international vendors such as Lexis/Nexis and Financial Times Information and is on the World Wide Web at www.africanews.org.

ANS is located in Durham, N. C. and is led by a trio of Duke graduates: Executive Director Bertie Howard ('69), Executive Editor Tamela Hultman ('68), and President and Managing Editor Reed Kramer ('69). In 1996 ANS and Duke University embarked on two collaborative ventures, the Center for Africa and the Media (CAM) as well as the the LeRoy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive. CAM is a joint program with Duke University's African and African American Studies Program that will help develop curricular offerings and conduct scholarly research as well as initiate visits and international exchanges with journalists and media scholars.

Acquisition information:
The Leroy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive was donated by Africa News Service to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 1997-2001.
Processing information:

Processed by Paula Jeannet; Karen L. Jefferson; Betsy Hankin; Thembi Finch; Allison Gluvna; Nicole Teal; Brad Siegel

Completed 1997-1998

Additions processed by Don Sechler; Lisa Stark; Katy Wischow

Last updated November 27, 2001

Encoded by Lisa Stark; Ming Guo; Katy Wischow; Ruth E. Bryan

Parts of this collection are unprocessed: those materials have not been ordered and described beyond their original condition.


The collection is retained as it was assembled by ANS. The files were collected over two decades by a variety of staff members and volunteers. As issues in Africa evolved, subject files were established, emphasized or de-emphasized, resulting in some overlap in focus and sometimes inconsistency in filing. Many of the folder titles include span dates; however, it is not unusual to find materials dated earlier or later. As noted previously, the collection spans the period of the 1960s through 1995. Some dates on the folder titles are noted with the prefix, "thru" or a dash, e.g., "-1977". This indicates that the materials in the files dated before and up to 1977. If there is a dash after the date, e.g., " 1983-", this indicates the files date 1983 forward. The span dates on the container list sometimes differ from the dates on the folder title. In preparing the container list, student workers sometimes looked within the folder to determine the actual span dates and listed this information. Attempts were made by ANS staff to arrange materials chronologically within the folders. Over time with numerous people using and filing the materials, some of this arrangement within the folder may have been lost.

Sometimes within the folders there are white slips of paper with a bibliographic citation. This is an indication that there is a relevant article in a periodical. The periodical title is often noted by an acronym. A key to the list of acronyms can be found after the List of Series below. Most of the periodicals cited should be available in Duke University's Perkins Library in hard copy, microform, or electronically.

Occasionally there are files labelled with just the letter of the alphabet, preceding folders with information about a specific topic. Such files were established when there were only one or two articles about the subject and a separate folder was not yet warranted. For example in the series, "Persons," there is a file for each letter of the alphabet, preceding the files labelled by individuals' names. This indicates that the file contains materials on several people whose last name begins with that letter of the alphabet. There are a few terms used as folder titles that require some clarification.

"General" indicates there was not sufficient material on a subject to divide into categories. Therefore the file would include a range of topics. For example, "South Africa: Bantustans - General" would include a variety of information about Bantustans as a subject and specific Bantustans. Following "General" are files on specific Bantustans, e.g., "Ciskei," indicating that there was sufficient information about Ciskei to warrant its own folder.

Bibliography is not used in the traditional sense of a list of citations, but rather is a file that includes book announcements, book reviews, or other statements about a publication of interest. Such materials can also be found interfiled within a specific subject file.

Reference files included brochures, pamphlets, statistics, and maps providing background information about a subject, usually a country.

Diplomacy files are used only in the series, "Africa: Countries," and refers to pre-independence efforts to form a new country. These files would include information on negotiations with former colonial powers, the United Nations, and/or with neighboring African countries. After independence was achieved files were labelled under the title, "politics."

Foreign Relations and Foreign Policy were not always clearly distinguished during the filing process. However, foreign policy focuses more on establishing positions related to issues while foreign relations deal with the interaction between countries based on the foreign policy.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


One accession of the collection has usage restrictions. Contact a reference librarian for more information.

In addition, some of the materials in this collection are not immediately accessible, because they require further processing before use.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in these papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Africa News Service (Durham, N.C.) Leroy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.