The WARC library, located in the West African Research Center compound in Dakar Senegal, houses a multidisciplinary collection of books, serials, online, and open access resources for the study of Africa, the Caribbean, and America. The library supports and serves the research and study needs of students, faculty, research fellows, freelancers, and visiting scholars of the Center. The library’s OPAC system holds thousands of titles, provides access to JSTOR (a leading resource for scholars around the world), and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ funded African Ajami Library that houses original manuscripts and archival documentation. The library provides connections to numerous Open Access Sources (OAS).

The library is consistently adding links to many of these OAS materials that includes the following items:

Africana Collections Online

African Journals Online

Boston University (Open BU Libraries)

The Dewey Decimal System

The Dictionary of African Christian Biography

Hathi Trust

Library Genesis

Internet Archive

OCLC Classify (for catalogers and librarians)

PDF Drive

Sabinet-African Journals

The staff are here to support our library users and ensure they have the resources needed. We welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions for additional materials to secure. We also welcome any donations to support the work of the library.

To access the library’s resources, CLICK HERE


General Purpose of the Collection

The West African Research Center Library (WARC-L) is responsible for a multidisciplinary collection of resources for the study of Africa, the Caribbean, and America. Its primary constituency comprises students, faculty, research fellows, freelancers, and visiting scholars of the Center. It is an academic exchange center between the U.S. ,West African researchers and acaeemics from other parts of the world promoting research in the West African region. The Center hosts international symposia, research programs, and roundtables on disclosed research, lectures, and workshops by local and foreign scholars and authors.

The West African Research Center also supports U.S. and other scholars conducting research in Senegal and West Africa and serves as a host institution for individual and group projects of students from U.S. and other universities.

The West African Research Center Library receives students enrolled in an academic department to do their research. The Library patrons’ areas of study include among others Literature and Literary criticism –  Civilization –  Anthropology – Economics – Education –  Geography – History – Languages and Linguistics – Law – Sociology – Political Science – Social sciences – Philosophy – Arts – Religion. The West African Research Center Library focuses on two major interdisciplinary research priorities: African, America, and Diasporic studies. The West African Research Center is a partner institution of Cheikh Anta Diop university (UCAD), located in Fann Residence (Dakar – Senegal), a quiet and suitable environment for scientific research.

The West African Research Center Library is committed to providing information service on Africa, America and the black Diaspora and beyond this immediate constituency, and responds to the research needs of the broader community in Senegalese public and private Universities, African Universities, as well as the rest of the world.

WARC Library Users

The primary users of the WARC library are:

  1. American researchers, students, professors (affiliated and non-affiliated), and freelancers
  2. Senegalese Researchers, students (from B.A. to Ph.D.), professors, and freelancers
  3. African Researchers, students, professors, and freelancers
  4. Non-African and Non-American Researchers, professors, and freelancers
  5. Information and Library Professionals
  6. Visitors

Method of Acquisitions

  • WARC-L acquires acquisitions through donations from institutions, scholars, professors, and groups of American students and researchers who come to WARC for academic reasons as part of the various study abroad programs hosted by the Center
  • WARC-L acquires resources from authors using the WARC space for their book launches. It also selectively purchases books written by Senegalese or other scholars.
  • WARC-L also retains conference proceedings and presentations that are held at WARC
  • Occasionally the WARC-L receives duplicates from the Library Of Congress’ program in WARC

Handling of Donations

  • Donations are welcome and accepted. Such material should support the scope and research needs of WARC as indicated in ‘Scope of Coverage’ (see below).
  • Donations are accepted, with the understanding that the library may add them to the collection at its discretion or dispose of them if they do not meet the standards for selection. The WARC library reserves the right to determine the retention, location, cataloguing treatment, and other considerations related to the use or disposition of all donations. The library assumes no responsibility for appraisal of donations, nor can the library accept items under restricted conditions.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded

Actual and potential use shapes the language policy of the WARC-Library. WARC-L collects primarily in the official languages of African, American, Ajami,  and Diasporic nations, including and not restricted to English, French, and Wolof, which is the national language of Senegal. Materials in indigenous languages of Africa, whether or not designated as official national languages, are collected selectively, mainly to support language instruction and linguistic or other specialized research. A case in point is Ajami. Works in other languages are collected selectively, either because of a specific request or research value.

Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate

WARC-L primarily collects very selectively materials dealing with all African, American, Caribbean, and Diasporic nations and collects the materials dealing with African, American, Caribbean Literatures and civilizations, anthropology, sociology, and political and social sciences. The primary focus is on all African and current American and Diasporic materials.

WARC-L collects material on Africa, the Caribbean, America, and the rest of the world (where appropriate) published anywhere in the world, within the language policies described above. Particular emphasis is placed on acquisitions from Africa, America, and the Diaspora, particularly primary sources, newspapers, scholarly works, and creative writing.

Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate

WARC-L collects materials dealing with the entire history of Africa, from the first human populations to the present day. WARC-L also collects recent African, American, and Diasporic materials and periodicals such as Research in African Literatures, Présence Africaine, African Historical Studies,  African Studies Review, and Jeune Afrique.

Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates and specific periods excluded, as appropriate

WARC-L acquisitions emphasize current publications. Historically dated publications are acquired selectively.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations

As an interdisciplinary collection, WARC-L collects in nearly all subject areas. Primary subject areas are determined by the following Dewey Decimal call number ranges:

  • 100: Philosophy & Psychology
  • 200 : Religions
  • 300 : Social Sciences
  • 301: Sociology & anthropology
  • 305: Social groups
  • 307: Communities
  • 320: Political Sciences
  • 323: Civil and political rights
  • 326: Slavery and Emancipation
  • 330: Economics
  • 340: Law
  • 400 : Language
  • 403: Dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • 410: Linguistics
  • 411: Writing systems
  • 700 : The arts
  • 800 : Literature & rhetoric
  • 809: Literary history & criticism
  • 810 – 817: American literatures (poetry, drama, fiction, essays, speeches, letters, satire & humor)
  • 820 – 827: English literatures (poetry, drama, fiction, essays, speeches, letters, satire & humor)
  • 896: African Literature
  • 900 : Geography & History

Types of Materials


Books; periodicals; reference materials, films, conference proceedings, and documents

Collected Selectively:

Dissertations and thesis on African, American, and Diasporic topics, whether done in Africa, or America; maps; and electronic resources, textbooks, WARC-L sometimes collects recent NGO reports

Not Collected:

Children’s books, except for works in French, English, and Wolof. Daily newspapers are available at the WARC Library but not collected and preserved.

Other Library Resources

WARC-L  staff has created a Web link through its Libraryworld OPAC where patrons can search the WARC-L catalog and download thousands of articles and books from the open access links gathered on the WARC-L site (https://sites.google.com/view/warc-library).

Local resources

  • Cheikh Anta DIOP University Library
  • IFAN
  • Senegalese National Archives
  • S. Embassy Library

Aliou Badara SARR

Chief Librarian