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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

Introductory Information

Smithsonian Library and Archives: Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art

Address:  National Museum of African Art, Room 2138, 950 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

Telephone number: 202-633-4680

Contact information: [email protected]

Online catalog

Digital Collections link

Access Policies

Hours of service

Open to the public: Yes

Interlibrary loan: Yes

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by:  Ask-a-Librarian form, chat, telephone, email, in-person

Content

Books and monographs
The collection holds approximately 1,000 books  Subject emphases include African religions, including works on indigenous belief systems and practices; syncretic religious movements; Christianity and Islam in Africa; Afro-Brazilian cults; Santería; Vodun and other African religions in the New World.

Periodicals and newspapers
Approximately 50 journals. Religion is covered as one of many topics in African studies periodicals. The Library is currently working on an analytical index to these collections and has already entered over 90,000 records in the SIRIS catalog. The journal collection mirrors the subject areas found in the monograph collection. 

Microforms
Unknown quantity of microform. Highlights include the missionary archives on microfilm, including Church Missionary Society, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Basel Mission. These are primarily 19th and 20th century records.

Vertical files
Approximately 20 files with 20th and 21st century dates. The strengths of this collection are in African religions, including works on indigenous belief systems and practices; syncretic religious movements; Christianity and Islam in Africa; Afro-Brazilian cults; Santería; Vodun and other African religions in the New World. Formats include offprints, pamphlets, brochures, and newspaper clippings. File folders are arranged by subjects. 

Databases and/or electronic resources

Digital collections
Smithsonian Collection Search Center

Subject Headings

African religions; African religions in the Americas; Ancestors--Religious aspects; Christian art--Africa; Christianity--Africa; Cults--Africa; Ethiopian Orthodox Church; Funeral rites and ceremonies--Africa; Islam--Africa; Islamic architecture--Africa; Islamic art--Africa; Magic--Africa; Masquerades--Africa; Missions and missionaries--Africa; Monasticism and religious orders--Ethiopia; Monasticism and religious orders, Coptic; Mythology; New religious movements; Religion in art--Africa; Religious art--Africa; Ritual--Africa; Santería; Shrines--Africa; Spiritual healing--Africa; Witchcraft