About Africana Books UK


Thank you for visiting our website.

You have found a unique collection of rare and out-of-print books about Africa

Alan Painter, the curator of the collection, describes it as being slightly different from other collections of African material, in that this collection specialises mainly on the history of the peoples of Africa.

The collection includes studies of the African indigenous people: their history and evolution from earliest times up to the present day, social anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, prehistory, languages, religious studies, missionaries, the social sciences and much much more. The collection does not include novels or books on hunting, big-game wildlife or safari.

Alan Painter has collected rare journals and periodicals that most general book dealers would never handle. The reason being, that it is from these journals, most writers and historians over the past 50 years have obtained their information. These journals and periodicals are very important to students of history and anthropology, and are very valuable, not in monetary terms, (as they are relatively inexpensive to buy, ranging from £1 pound to £5 per volume) but in content.

Other very important material in the collection, to the historian, are the records produced by the colonial government office, generally referred to as the “Blue Books”. These come in all sorts of condition from just a few ragged pages to complete leather bound volumes, but all are expensive. Prices start at about £35 way up to £450 per volume and a rare and are important to African studies.

How the Africana Books collection began

Back before the days of television, there was a programme on the radio that used to broadcast the novels of Ryder Huggard, and after listening to the radio adaptation of “King Solomon’s Mines”, Alan Painter became inspired to get to know more about South Africa. After reading all Huggard’s African novels, Alan went on to explore Africa and the true facts and history of Africa and it’s peoples.

Alan’s collecting initially was centred on the Zulu nation and kindred tribes in the Cape Province area, but as other indigenous people came into focus he began widening his studies to many other African peoples and subjects, and over the years the collection grew to cover the entire African continent.

The aim now

All Alan Painter’s books are for sale on a non-profit basis (that is to say, if Alan bought a book for say £20, he is quite willing to sell the book for £20.)

Africana Books UK  is essentially a private library based in a small first floor flat on the outskirts of Bournemouth, Dorset. As well as offering the collection online Alan invites serious collectors and academics to contact him or to visit him, by appointment only.

Alan is now semi-retired, but is free for consultation any Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday.

He can be contacted by telephone at 01202 528678 or by email on  info@africanabooks.co.uk

He says: “Enjoy browsing the collection and if you have any questions or requirements feel free to get in touch. If you are in the area please do come and see me for a chat, over a nice glass or two of good Dorset cider and who knows, perhaps do a bit of business”.

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