For the past 16 years, the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences has been publishing books every year with a large print on the cover.: "Proceedings of the Institute of Africa".
I don't think that's quite accurate. On the next page after the cover, this name is already typed in a rather small font. And here is the true title of the book: "Bibliography of books, pamphlets and articles on Africa published in the CIS in...".
Instead of an ellipsis, insert any year from 1998 to 2014 (the first issue of the handbook was published under the heading "Africa: Judgments and Facts"). And a little smaller: "Reference and bibliographic series". Compiled by A. N. Ivanov.
The reference book is certainly necessary and useful. However, I would like to hope that the next volumes will be published under the title that exactly corresponds to the content of the publication.
Looking through these annual issues, for example, over the past 9 years, from volume 11 to volume 19, one cannot help but come to the conclusion that the science of African studies itself has made a huge step forward during this time. If in 2006, which is devoted to the 11th volume of publications, it listed 1196 articles and books with brief characteristics (publisher, number of pages, etc.), then in volume 18 more than twice as much-2607. And the circulation of the publication has grown significantly during this time - from 70 to 500 copies.
Each volume of the series consists of two sections - " Countries and regions "and"General problems". "Countries and regions" are listed alphabetically. The General Issues section of volume 18 contains 35 subsections: "History and Archeology", "Economics", "Counter-terrorism", "Religion", "Gender Issues", "Africa and the UN", etc.
In principle, the list of problems has not changed much in recent years. On the one hand, this is a good thing: from the very beginning, the compilers quite accurately identified a set of topics and problems in this list. On the other hand, some important topics that have been widely discussed in the Russian press and in the publishing community in recent years have been undeservedly left out. These include, for example, "Africa and the international financial and economic crisis", "Water management problems in Africa", "Transport" and some others.
The advantages of these collections include the fact that some works whose titles are metaphorical or ambiguous are provided with short annotations explaining the content.
So, an article by Malcolm Bate, published in the 6th issue of Russian Newsweek magazine under the "intriguing" headline - "Kofi was not ordered", it turns out, is devoted to the struggle for the post of head of the UN, and a person who looks like Kofi Annan, this head is not
it will, because the UN needs to be reformed (vol. 11, p. 45). And under the title of A. Koshkarev's article "Let's go here" ("Expert", No. 22, 2013) is a text that the British authorities plan to seriously tighten migration rules in order to restrict the entry of foreigners to the island.
Such, of course, necessary comments in the books of the series are quite a few.
Each volume of the directory contains the following information:: "Compiled by A. N. Ivanov". The publications he found and included in the collections form an impressive picture of the success and achievements of African studies, an important branch of Russian social sciences.
Bibliographic collections, as you know, do not belong to the category of fascinating reading. But they certainly inspire respect for those who prepare such collections.
There is also no doubt that they are useful and, moreover, necessary as a reference material for all African scholars.
N. I. PETROV, Editor of Asia and Africa Today magazine
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