Digitising old Yoruba newspapers at Kenneth Dike Library


  • Oluwaseun Obasola University of Ibadan
  • Rukayat Usman University of Ibadan




Digitisation, Yoruba, Old newspapers, Kenneth Dike library


The Kenneth Dike Library and the Nigeria National Archives are especially rich in ancient collections, particularly those unique to southwestern Nigeria, home to many people of the Yoruba extraction. These facilities house print and non-print materials such as personal notes and written collections of prominent persons, old manuscripts, ancient and modern maps, journals, and old Yoruba newspapers. Many of these print materials, especially the newspapers, are deteriorating. In a bid to prolong shelf-life, access to these old materials is limited. As newspapers serve as gateways to the past, this restricted access can impact the research experience of users.

The paper begins by presenting the project framework, which was designed before the project began. It goes on to detail the nuances involved in the several stages of the digitisation process and considers the aftermath of digitising the papers in terms of ownership, storage, backup, and access. This project revealed two things: first, though digitisation solves the problem of access and preservation, it is still necessary to preserve the original materials to prevent loss due to technical issues. Second, funding, and international partnership work hand in hand with digitisation, as it is a capital-intensive activity. Last, the paper contributes to the ongoing debates on the cultural, and socio-political discourses entwined with the technical processes of digitisation. The highlighted project was sponsored by the European Research Council (ERC) in collaboration with local partners. The website, https://yorubaprints.wordpress.com/yoruba-erc-project/  raises awareness for the project.


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How to Cite

Obasola, O., & Usman, R. (2024). Digitising old Yoruba newspapers at Kenneth Dike Library. IASSIST Quarterly, 48(2). https://doi.org/10.29173/iq1041