Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Archives on african Literatures and Cultures in the Libary for Asian and African Studies


The HU-Berlin University Library has a number of historically valuable archives that are administered by the Department of African Studies. They are part of the Rara collection of the Asia/Africa branch library, where they can be consulted upon request.


Janheinz Jahn Archive

Jahnheinz Jan und Ulla Schild

Ulla Schild and Janheinz Jahn,
Photo from the estate

The estate of the journalist and translator Janheinz Jahn (1918-1973) contains correspondences with important authors from Africa and the Diaspora in the 1950s and 60s, manuscripts, press material, radio features and pictorial material as well as preparatory works for Jahn's renowned writings such as Black Orpheus, Muntu or Through African Doors.


Ulla Schild-Archive

The scientific estate of ethnologist Ulla Schild (1938-1998), who was Jahn's partner and collaborator and worked on collaborative projects with him.


Erica de Bary Archive

The writer and translator Erica de Bary (1907-2007) was a passionate traveller to Africa and maintained friendships with African and Madagascan poets for decades. The archive contains de Bary's correspondence, travel diaries, manuscripts, scientific works and translations.

Press release


Dambudzo Marechera Archive


Flora Veit-Wild and Dambudzo Marechera,
Photo from the estate

The collection consists the entire literary legacy as well as a wide range of materials on the biography and impact history of the legendary Zimbabwean author Dambudzo Marechera (1952-1987), whose avant-garde prose text "The House of Hunger" became a classic of African literature. The archive was set up by Marechera's estate executor and biographer Flora Veit-Wild.

It is digitally accessible as a media repository:



Veit-Wild Zimbabwe-Archive

The research archive of Flora Veit-Wild, who lived in Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1993 and was Professor of African Literatures and Cultures at the Seminar for African Studies of the HU Berlin from 1994 to 2012, contains numerous scientific and journalistic documents on the social history of Zimbabwean literature.


If you are interested in using the archives, please contact us:


Prof. Dr. Susanne Gehrmann
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften
Professur für afrikanische Literaturen
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin


The application for use must be submitted to the Head of the Historical Collections of HU-Berlin:


Dr. Yong-Mi Rauch
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Leiterin der Historischen Sammlungen
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



To the application form