Digital Humanities

Islam West Africa Collection (2023-)

With the support of Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and funding from the Berlin Senate Department for Science, Health and Care, I’m currently working on expanding the Islam Burkina Faso Collection to West Africa. The new Islam West Africa Collection currently contains over 5,000 archival documents, newspaper articles, Islamic publications of various kinds, audio and video recordings, and photographs on Islam and Muslims in Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. Most documents are in French, but some are also in Hausa, Arabic, Dendi, Fon and English. The site also indexes over 750 references to relevant books, book chapters, book reviews, journal articles, dissertations, theses, reports and blog posts.

Islam Burkina Faso Collection (2018-23)

Islam Burkina Faso Collection banner

Launched in 2021, the Islam Burkina Faso Collection is an open access digital database containing over 2,900 archival documents, newspaper articles, Islamic publications of various forms, and photographs on Islam and Muslims in Burkina Faso. The site also indexes more than 275 bibliographical references of books, book chapters, journal articles, dissertations and theses on the topic. In addition to the metadata attribution, optical character recognition (OCR) has also been applied to each document. An index of nearly 1000 events, locations, organizations, people, and topics is also available.

This project is one of the first digital humanities initiatives to be published under a new University of Florida Libraries program, LibraryPress@UF. This program, an imprint of the Libraries and the University of Florida Press, seeks to develop public scholarship across formats that extend and complement the work of traditional academic publishing.

To learn more about this project, see Frédérick Madore, “La Collection Islam Burkina Faso : promesses et défis des humanités numériques”. Revue d’Histoire Contemporaine de l’Afrique (2021). DOI 10.51185/journals/rhca.2021.e610


I won a 2023 Emerging Open Scholarship Award, sponsored by the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute (C-SKI) and its partners, for my work on the Islam Burkina Faso Collection.


Robert Launay, “Review: Islam Burkina Faso Collection,” Reviews in Digital Humanities 4, no. 4 (2023). DOI 10.21428/3e88f64f.89e71c81

“The collection is an invaluable research tool for scholars in or outside Burkina Faso, offering access to material that is difficult or impossible to find outside —  and sometimes even inside — the country […] The collection is an extremely important contribution and critical aid to scholarship on Islam in West Africa.”

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