University of Botswana Department of History

Neil Parsons' Links Page

This page was one of those in the original version of the website which went online in 1999. Most of these links are now unfortunately out of date (an example of the problem known as "linkrot") which is why the page is now in the archive section; but you may be able to locate them.
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by Prof. Neil Parsons: email nparsons@mopipi... [Click here for full email address]
(with some updates by Bruce Bennett)


See UB History Department Home Page, including Archaeology & Museum Studies.

See Botswana History Page 1 for a Brief History of Botswana.

See Botswana History Page 2 for Comments and Links on History of Botswana.

(And see the Botswana History Pages general index.)

Please note: Some of the following links may be out of date by the time you see this page. Most sites in this region are new, and consequently likely to be reorganizing their web-sites, which tends to lead to links becoming invalid.
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For a general web-site with index of Botswana-based sites see Gaborone IBIS. The nearest South African equivalent, Johannesburg-based iAfrica.Com, is sport and overseas travel biassed. It has been running an advertising campaign declaring its devotion to South African history in the South African press (April 1999). But just type in "History" on its search panel and what you you get is hundreds of sites devoted to rugby and cricket records. Type in "South African History" and you get motoring sport coverage. Better select the Education category first, and then type in "History".

There is of course no relationship between Botswana and the US HotBot search-engine, but try it if you like, and you'll get the "Lonely Planet" guide to Botswana!

A good map of Botswana can be found at

A good list of links for Botswana non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be found at the SAIE (South African Information Exchange) site.

Stanford University has a very useful list of Botswana links on their web-site.
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The only national archives and museums in Southern Africa at present with web-sites appears to be the National Archives of Namibia and National Museum of Namibia. But keep an eye on The Archives Web for links to archives all over the world.

For Botswana historical materials in Britain see especially the fifty boxes of photocopies in the Michael Crowder Papers in the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, collected for his biography of Tshekedi Khama which was tragically never completed. For the cataloguing of tons of material on Southern Africa/ Botswana in the National Archives of England (mostly under Colonial Office/ Dominions Office) see Public Record Office.

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Angola: Luanda University, no information

Lesotho: Navigate through Faculty of Humanities on National University of Lesotho, Roma.

Malawi: University of Malawi, Zomba. For email try

Mozambique: Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo.

Namibia: Navigate through University of Namibia, Windhoek.

South Africa: Our nearest neighbour among universities is the University of the North West, Mafikeng, with whose History Department we intend to conduct joint research projects. Otherwise our closest ties, particularly in Archaeology, have been with University of the Witwatersrand History Department, Johannesburg and Wits Archaeology Department, and with the University of Cape Town History Department and UCT Archaeology Department.

Other neighbouring South African History Departments include Potchefstroom University History Department, the University of the Free State History Department, the University of the North (Pietersburg), the University of Pretoria, and the University of Venda (Thoyandou). There is also the University of South Africa (Unisa) History Department based in Pretoria.

For more History Departments in South Africa see the links listed on the South African University History Departments page of the Yenza! Education web-site.

Swaziland: University of Swaziland (Kwaluseni): History Department

Zambia: Navigate through School of Humanities & Social Sciences at University of Zambia, Lusaka.

Zimbabwe: University of Zimbabwe, Harare

World: For links to History Departments elsewhere in the world (excluding Africa) try a Dutch site in English called WWW-pages of History Departments.

Also try the fuller but also incomplete world lists of college and university links on the Yahoo! UK & Irelannd Higher Education site.The "College and University Home Pages" hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA were last modified in July 1996.

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H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences On-Line for Africa, based at Michigan State University in East Lansing USA, consists of the following discussion and information groups:

Contact H-Net Africa to sample and catch up on discussion and information. You may also join a group to get regular emailing of edited bulletins, if you can convince its convenor that you are a serious researcher.

There is, or maybe was, an open discussion group on African history called Nu-Africa, which bombards members with unedited multiple emails. But it can't be located on the net just now.

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Major extension to the UB Library currently being built (25KB)

The new extension to the University of Botswana Library currently under construction. [Description]

Photo: Julie Tallman, September 1999

Only the best university libraries let outsiders into their catalogue. On this criterion, the University of Botswana Library is one of the best. There are roughly a quarter of a million titles on the catalogue. The on-line catalogue used to be very difficult, but the Library has now leapt ahead with a very good web-based OPAC system, which can be accessed as:

This will open the following list of options:

Library Information
View Your Patron Record
Suggestions for the Library
Books the Library should Acquire
Other Libraries via Z39.50
Search Course Reserves:
By Course
By Professor [i.e. lecturer]

University and government libraries in the Southern African region are linked by SABINET. Unfortunately you can only access this for a demonstration on the Internet.

To try the SABINET demonstration:

login:       sabidemo

password:    sabidemo

Click here to link to SABINET by telnet, and enter login and password as above.

You have to to go and use a terminal inside one of the member libraries - including UB Library - in order to fully use the network.

The University of South Africa Library has the OPAC of its very large library catalogue on-line at Unisa Library OPAC. It includes a Subject Index using Library of Congress headings, a useful Keyword index, and even a search facilty using ISBN/ ISSN numbers. The University of Witwatersrand Wits Library OPAC also has subject and word search facilities.

Other libraries in the region do not put their OPAC on the world-wide web, but do offer useful information. For example, University of Namibia Library includes a page of Namibia internet links. Other university library web-sites are pretty bare cupboards for people not on campus. The excellent collections of the University of Cape Town (especially its African Studies Library) are not reflected on the UCT Library site. Nor is there much on the University of Zambia Unza Library site.

Overseas, search through of the biggest library of all, the Library of Congress OPAC. Sample the delights of the former British Museum Library where Karl Marx worked in the British Library OPAC. Dip into Harvard University to access Harvard University Library's on-line service called HOLLIS (also available on telnet at Harvard HOLLIS.)

For specialist libraries on Africa overseas, see major collections in England and the USA. At Oxford there is the invaluable collection of the Rhodes House Library available through the Oxford Libraries Internet Gateway. In London you have to register yourself with a username to use SOAS Library. At Cambridge there is University of Cambridge Library OPAC, which now incorporates the former library of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

[ Also at Cambridge: Brief guide to the catalogues  |  Connect to the OPAC by telnet ]

There are two major US African Studies libraries with a special collection on Botswana. One has a catalogue open to public access: the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library, which incorporates the Botswana collection of Prof. Richard Dale. The other's OPAC bars visitors from outside: Boston University Library, which houses social and agricultural research data on Botswana collected by its Center of African Studies.

After struggling to compile the above list, the compiler has just discovered Hytelnet and webCATS which give comprehensive listings of library catalogues on-line, for Telnet and WWW respectively. However, while both include South Africa (and webCATS includes Namibia) they ignore Botswana.

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In Botswana there is precious little research material available on line. Apart from resources available on this web-site (see the Site Index and the Botswana History Pages), try the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) web-site. Also see Botswana Government web-site for links to government departments, statistics, and policy documents, and the British Council Gaborone web-site.

A good starting point for African political history is University of Cape Town Political Studies Department.

For History research links outside Africa try the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in Virginia USA, and the History Index of the World-Wide Web Virtual Library called WWW-VL-History at the University of Kansas USA. Also see History Resources based in the Netherlands.

For African Studies research links on Botswana outside Africa, including History, be guided by the African Studies Association of the USA. Also see "Africa Research Central". The ASA of the UK appears to have no web-site: try the research facilities of the School of Oriental & African Studies, including its Centre of African Studies. (Username and password are apparently required for some parts of the SOAS site.)

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For Botswana government senior secondary schools' curriculum see Ministry of Education Curriculum Development & Evaluation Department. For private senior secondary schools see Gaborone's Maru-a-pula School school, and Legae Academy, which follow Cambridge IGCSE and HIGCSE syllabi. The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) does not appear to have its own web-site.

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Botswana Student Union (UK): an orgnaization for Batswana students in Britain.

Khwai Development Trust

Project Gutenberg has placed a large number of out-of-copyright texts on-line in plain-text form. These texts, which can be freely downloaded and reproduced, include some of interest to historians of Africa, including Native Life in South Africa by Sol Plaatje, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, by David Livingstone, and works by Olive Schreiner. The Project Gutenberg main site contains complete lists, and links to various extra FTP sites from which the texts can be dowloaded. (This is important because it is likely to be much quicker downloading from a site near you.) There is one such FTP site in South Africa. It will be quicker to download the .zip versions of the files.

Two texts have been included in this site.

These are free and out of copyright, but see the legal notice at the start of each text.

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Isaac Schapera carried out extensive research on virtually all social and cultural aspects of life in colonial Botswana and its history. The results include not only Schapera's voluminous published works but also unpublished genealogies, life histories and other documents, notes and collections of data. In 1998 the Department of Sociology, University of Botswana adopted a program of research titled "Recovering the Legacy of Schapera" to take stock of the material and build on this research.

The Schapera Project has now launched a web-site at <>

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Copyright © 1999 Neil Parsons
Photograph of new library copyright © Julie Tallman 1999
Last updated 20 August 2002.