Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ideas anyone?

I have been trying to think about how I can integrate more African themes into my future research and writing. I am looking at this particularly from the viewpoint of sources since I am not too far from the former National Archives of Ghana or as it is officially known today the Public Records and Archives Department (PRAAD). Unfortunately, on my last trip to the archives I was told that nothing from the Foreign Ministry had yet been declassified for the entire existence of the Republic of Ghana since its founding on 6 March 1957. So doing anything related to Ghanaian foreign policy using the archives is simply not possible. Indeed the archives are only complete for the colonial period from 1875 to 1957. I have been told that there is some stuff from the Ministry of Industry available for the period since the achievement of independence, but for the most part the accessible archival record is limited to the colonial era. As a 20th century rather a 19th century historian I am most interested in the history of Leninist socialism in practice. But, there are no such states in Africa until 1974-1975 when Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique come under Leninist governments. Unfortunately their archives are far away and written in Amharic and Portuguese.

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