Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) - An institute dedicated to preserving memory and promoting historical knowledge in Africa and its adjacent islands

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Upcoming International Forum

Catholics-Protestants-Encounters

 

'Encounters between Catholics and Protestants in Africa' is an upcoming international forum organized by the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) within the umbrella of Refo500 and RefoRC. The conference which will be held in Karen Nairobi from July 11th to 14th, will seek to explore various themes that will revisit critical issues that will be of significance to the religion world with regard to the 500th anniversary of reformation which is being marked in 2017.

To learn more about the conference please follow this link: http://jhia.ac.ke/conference 

Fr General's Visit to JHIA

Fr. Aturo JHIA_Visit

The Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) would like to thank the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Arturo Sosa, SJ for paying us a visit on Thursday 4th May 2017. Fr. Sosa was in the company of Fr. Fratern Masawe, S.J, and Fr. Claudio Paul, S.J (both counselors to Father General), the JESAM President, Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator S.J, and others. During his visit, JHIA Director Fr. Festo Mkenda SJ took him through the various categories of collections that make up the library of the institute. The delegation was then led through a short video that explains the role JHIA should play as per Fr. Sosa’s predecessor, Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ. The clip explains the idea in mind in establishing a historical institute not only for Jesuit related material but one that would preserve the history of Africa. He was impressed by the role the institute plays in the society. JHIA Staff will be pleased to host him again. 

2017 Diary: Africa in Recent GCs

JHIADiary-2017The 2017 JHIA Diary is here! This product is now available for circulation. We trust that our patrons can order their copies early enough to allow shipping before Christmas.

The 2017 diary builds on the reviews we received on the 2015 and 2016 diaries. On the basis of those reviews, we largely maintained the same structure and format even as we introduced significantly new content. We appreciate the fact that the JHIA diary is increasingly being used by a good number of Jesuits and their friends. 

The 2017 diary continues to provide crucial historical information. It bears a basic report on the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa in its current state and introduces the institute’s short term (2017-2021) and long term (2017-2026) plans. In the context of the recently concluded 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, the JHIA 2017 diary also includes highlights on Africa in more recent General Congregations. Moreover, a snapshot of the current state of African continent is provided as a background against which the 36th General Congregation took place. This, we hope, will also be the backround against which many in Africa will read whatever prounouncements the Congregation will produce and the context in which its decisions will be implemented within Africa and Madagascar. At the very end of the diary is a chronological reference chart of major Jesuit events in Africa from 1900 to the present. This was designed to complete the 2016 chart, which showcased similar events from the bginning of the Society of Jesus to the year 1900.

With so much historical detail, the JHIA diary is surely a collector’s item. We are deeply satisfied that we have been able to offer the 2017 product to our friends and supporters at exactly the same price as that of last year (KSH 800.00; TSH 15,000.00; USD 10.00; EURO 9.00). The diary can now be ordered from the JHIA ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). We recommend that, where possible, customers take advantage of friends and companions passing through Nairobi to purchase a copy for them; alternatively, add shipping cost to the indicated price. Ordered early, the diary should arrive anywhere in the world in time for Christmas…and what a wonderful Christmas gift it would make! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE JHIA BY PURCHASING THE 2017 DIARY!

 

 

JHIA Joins RefoRC

ReforcDuring its meeting of May 2015, the Board of RefoRC accepted the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) as member of ReforRC. This is in addition to the JHIA’s membership of Refo500. RefoRC is a Research Consortium and an academic arm of Refo500, which connects academics and supports them in research activities by bringing those Refo500 partners together that focus on interconfessional, interdisciplinary and international research.

The JHIA is extremely excited about this recognition and new place in the global research community. In the context of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, the JHIA is keenly interested in ensuring that the lasting impact the 16th century events in Europe had on the second and third waves of evangelization in Africa are not lost to global scholarship. To advance this aim, the JHIA is closely collaborating with the Institute of Advanced Jesuit Studies, Boston College, to organize an international conference on the “Encounters Between Jesuits and Protestants in Africa”, which will take place in June/July 2016 (see more details here). In the same vein, the JHIA is considering plans for a broader conference on “Encounters between Catholics and Protestants in Africa” for June/July 2017, aiming to explore more generally the implications of the Reformation for the evangelization of the African continent.

The JHIA is set to exploit the collaborative opportunities within RefoRC to understand the extent to which Africa was and is still being influenced by the Reformation and its aftermath.

What Is Happening At JHIA?

In the last twelve months, JHIA has received three major shipments of books—two from Oxford, UK, and one from Rome, Italy. Significant collections have also been obtained locally around Nairobi and across the border in Tanzania. When these books reach our premises, we first keep them in our storeroom, from where we access them for cataloguing.

booksinjhistoreroomBooks inside JHIA storeroom

It takes quite a process before the books are readied for consumption by avid readers. From the store, where they have been piled without much order, they are taken few by few and grouped into three major categories: those with CIP (Cataloguing In Publishing) number, those with the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), and those with neither the CIP nor the ISBN.

The cataloguing process begins with the books with the CIP numbers. The numbers used for generating spine labels for the books; for example, BR 235.G75 1930. This number is stuck on the spine of the book as its identification mark. The information on the spine of the book is then entered in an accession register, which includes details such as an accession number, title, author, place and year of publication, publisher and edition, among others.

jeanfleuryszezikacatloguingbookJean Fleurys Zezika SJ, a Jesuit student, cataloguing books at JHIA

This information is then transferred to JHIA's online database. The accession number is used to generate a barcode, which is printed and stuck on the title page of the book. One using a barcode reader can thus retrieve all the information about the book without going back to the database or searching for the details in the book itself. The book is also stamped with the accession number and the official stamp of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa for purposes of ownership and identification.

Books that have undergone this process are then grouped according to their classification; for example, those with BR 235.... on the spine are arranged together on the shelves in alphabetical order.

However, very few books contain the CIP numbers. Those which have only the ISBN undergo another process before they are put on the shelves. Thanks to the databases of various institutions that have completed this process before us, their CIP number can easily be obtained online using the ISBN. Once this has been done, the registration process flows as already explained.

The more difficult case is that of books which have neither the CIP number nor the ISBN. In our case, such books a quite many, since JHIA deliberately targets old publications on Africa for its special collection. Such old books were published before CIP number and ISBN had been devised. By using details such as author, title and subject, sometimes help is obtainable from the Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC). In other times all the information has to be generated manually by JHIA staff.

philipopiyojhiaPhilip Opiyo, a JHIA staff, arranging books in JHIA Library

The cataloguing process is rigorous, but, once done, it makes it easy for anyone to search JHIA's online database and for the staff to retrieve books from the selves. JHIA's catalog is available online.

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News and Events

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Upcoming International Forum

Upcoming International Forum

  'Encounters between Catholics and Protestants in Africa' is an upcoming international forum organized by the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa... Read more

Fr General's Visit to JHIA

Fr General's Visit to JHIA

The Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) would like to thank the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr... Read more

2017 Diary: Africa in Recent GCs

2017 Diary: Africa in Recent GCs

The 2017 JHIA Diary is here! This product is now available for circulation. We trust that our patrons can order... Read more

JHIA Joins RefoRC

JHIA Joins RefoRC

During its meeting of May 2015, the Board of RefoRC accepted the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) as member... Read more

What Is Happening At JHIA?

What Is Happening At JHIA?

In the last twelve months, JHIA has received three major shipments of books—two from Oxford, UK, and one from Rome,... Read more