Archives and Artifacts: Uniting Liberian Scholarly Collections from Indiana University Libraries and Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Material Description

The IULC archival and photographic materials were created by Warren d'Azevedo, Kathleen d'Azevedo, Bai T. Moore, and William Siegmann, important figures in Liberian studies during the second half of the 20th century. Warren d'Azevedo was an anthropologist who pioneered ethnographic examination of African art production; his field notes, photographs, and writings are key to understanding both his subjects and his approaches. The Kathleen d'Azevedo materials include data on school-age children in Liberia, especially girls, beginning in the 1950s. Poet, novelist, and Liberian national Bai T. Moore was a leading figure in Liberian cultural life; his archives include ethnographic materials as well as writing drafts, etc. William Siegmann was a major authority in Liberian and Sierra Leonean art and ethnographic studies as well as a museum curator, both in Liberia and in the US. Taken together, these archival holdings document and comment on Liberian life and culture and are unmatched in their depth and breadth. The MMWC objects were collected by the d'Azevedos and Siegmann during fieldwork in Liberia; these are significant holdings on their own, and more so when integrated with the research archives of these scholars.


The project is a two-year endeavor by two units on Indiana University's Bloomington campus: Indiana University's Libraries' Liberian Collections, part of the African Studies Collection (IULC), and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures (MMWC). Archives and Artifacts will bring together the full range of materials from IULC donors, allowing scholars to access writings, photographs, and three-dimensional objects. Source materials are diverse, including field notes, correspondence, manuscripts, Liberian government and IGO reports, and photographs (IULC), and objects including sculpture, textiles, baskets, and pots (MMWC). The IULC work group will process and digitize paper and photographic materials. This includes attention to the physical resource--assessing and digitizing, and to information about the resource--recording associated metadata, creating or modifying finding aids. Object digitization by the MMWC work group follows the same pattern--care for the object and for the associated information. Quality control protocols will be in place throughout.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



Trustees of Indiana University


  • Ms. Michelle Dalmau (Indiana University Libraries)
  • Dr. Ellen
  • Dr. Dr. Marion

Date Range

1850 - 2007

Geographic Scope

The materials focus on Liberia, including items from co-ethnic groups in neighboring countries. Examples include the Gio/Dan in Ivory Coast and Liberia and the Mende of Sierra Leone and Liberia. There is a strong international component represented by correspondence and materials related to academic conferences, museum exhibitions, and teaching.


  • 90 Mixed Archival Collections