The selection of material is to cover the history and culture of Sub-Saharan Africa.
These programs vary from beginning undergraduate courses to post-doctoral research. The programs served by the collection include, but are not limited to, the Africana Studies & Research Center, departments of Anthropology, City & Regional Planning, Economics, English, Government, History, Linguistics, Sociology, the Institute for African Development and Near Eastern Studies.
The overall collecting goal is in both the social sciences and humanities.
In order of importance, the regional emphases of the collection is sub-Saharan Africa.
Emphasis is given to the Ancient Africa through contemporary times.
Emphasis is on current materials: monographs, periodicals (serials) in print and electronic formats. Manuscripts and theses and dissertations from other universities are preferably acquired in microform, when requested. Audiovisual materials and other formats are collected selectively. Important current African newspapers and magazines are acquired in part through the Library of Congress Nairobi office.