The Passport to Paradise gallery highlights the bold, visual images found all over Dakar by focusing upon the urban visual culture of the Mourides, a Senegalese Sufi movement centered upon the life and teachings of a local saint named Sheikh Amadou Bamba.

Read our recently published guides to best practices in digitizing text and multimedia resources. Download them today from our "Best Practices" site.

MATRIX, working in cooperation with the African Studies Center at MSU, and in partnership with premiere research institutions in Africa, is pioneering the African Online Digital Library. The goal of this fully accessible online digital repository is to adopt the emerging best practices of the American digital library community and apply them in an African context.

AODL benefits a wide variety of scholars, students, and institutions by producing multilingual, multimedia materials for both scholarly research and public viewing audiences. AODL serves scholars and students conducting research and teaching about West and South Africa as well as teachers and students of African languages in both the United States and Africa. It also provides a valuable model for creating and distributing a diverse array of materials in a region with very limited electronic connectivity.

Highlights from the Collection   Building Digital Libraries in an African Context

Phil Curtin

Preview the upcoming gallery of images from years of fieldwork from Dr. Phil Curtin's personal collection. He also agreed to sit for an interview about this collection, and that interview will shortly be part of the collection.


Representing Pulaar Digitally

Many African languages are seriously under-represented both on the World Wide Web and in digital libraries. To help preserve and disseminate these languages, we need to find ways to digitize and deliver linguistic content on the World Wide Web.

Sampling from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)

Located in Dakar, Senegal, IFAN was founded in 1939 and is the largest repository of Francophone West African culture and civilization in Africa. We present here only a sample of the work currently being undertaken at IFAN to digitize their vast collection. A complete thematic gallery will be available beginning Spring, 2004.


Best Practices in Creating Digital Libraries

Digital libraries and archives are being created around the globe. Educational institutions, publishers, corporations, governments, librarians, archivists, museum curators, and individual collectors are all trying to find ways to use digital media to help preserve, store, catalogue, disseminate, and share their materials. Read recent publications and contributions in this field from the AODL.

Build your own Gallery

Sort through the AODL collection on your own terms, using your own parameters, and construct an online gallery showcasing your interests.


Sampling from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)

Phil Curtin Collection

Collection Boubacar Barry

Collection Charles Becker: Recherches et documents sur le Sida

Photographs from “Passport to Paradise’: Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond

Mosques of Bondoukou

Futa Toro, Senegal and Mauritania

Build Your Own Gallery

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