Liberian Collections

IU’s Liberian Collections include historical and ethnographic documents, newspapers, government publications, books, journals, dissertations, maps, slides, negatives, photographs, microfilms, audio & video tapes, artifacts, and memorabilia.


The Project
Archives Online
Image Collections Online
Access to Collections



The IU Liberian Collections will collect, preserve, and make available a comprehensive range of materials and information about Liberia for researchers, students, and teachers, with special emphasis on reaching Liberians in Liberia and in the diaspora. To achieve this goal, the project will acquire, assess, preserve, inventory, index, catalog, organize and describe, manage, and publicize Liberia-related materials in all formats.


During the early 1990s, Ruth Stone, then director of the Archives of Traditional Music (ATM) of Indiana University (IU), began amassing a collection of documents and other related materials on Liberia from fellow scholars in the field. The idea of the ATM being a center for Liberian Studies was not yet born, but Dr. Stone, a Liberian specialist, made good use of the generosity of her colleagues in developing this collection. Early deposits of Liberian materials came from William Siegmann, Jane Martin, Jeanette Carter, and John and Judy Gay, creating an informal, but quickly growing collection. Initially, these donations came in addition to the audio and video recordings that are the primary format of the ATM’s collections. As these documents acquired a critical mass, the possibility arose of creating an independent repository of the materials on Liberia.

The IU Liberian Collections was formally established as an IU organization in 2002 when Verlon Stone became the Coordinator of the IULC. The IULC became part of the IU Libraries' African Studies Collection in mid-2013. The complete collections consist of historical and ethnographic documents, newspapers, government publications, books, journals, dissertations, maps, slides, negatives, photographs, microfilms, audio and video tapes, artifacts and memorabilia. Currently, the collections are being processed and made ready for public access and study through the internet and at the IU Libraries' African Studies Collection.


The Liberian Collections Project includes materials in many formats in addition to audio music recordings. The contents are primarily historical and ethnographic documents, but include a variety of formats. The collections of the Liberian Collections Project are stored in nearly 300 boxes at the ATM. Some materials are now available by appointment to scholars at the ATM Listening Library. More will be available as the materials are processed and indexed.

Four core collections of the Liberian Collections Project are the Svend E. Holsoe Collection, the William V. S. Tubman Collection, the Warren L. D'Azevedo Collection and the 20,000 Liberian Newspaper Collection. More information about these and other collections can be found at Archives Online (, and Image Collections Online at


Liberian Photograph Collections

The Liberian Collections Photograph Collections hold over 30,000 images from the 1940s to the present. Photographers include Liberian and American government officials and employees, private citizens, missionaries, development workers, concessions employees and ethnographic researchers.


Contact Information

Mireille Djenno