Adu Boahen Memorial Library and Archive Officially Opened at UG’s History Department

A beautiful ceremony has been held to officially open the Adu Boahen Memorial Library and Archive which is housed at the forecourt of the Department of History. 

The edifice is an essential part of the Department and a legacy of Prof. Adu Boahen's commitment to the Department. It will foster the study of African history at the University of Ghana. 

The facility provides users with historical books, journals, and exhibitions (both print and electronic), an oral history collection, periodicals, newspapers, a reference library and publications authored by the late Emeritus Prof. Albert Adu Boahen which he bequeathed to the Department of History. The items, however, were officially donated to the Department on the 10th anniversary of his death, which marked the start of the Adu Boahen Archive Project. 

Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, Provost of the College of Humanities, inaugurated the facility. He urged students to use the facility to enhance their academic work and to live their lives in a way that inspires others. 

Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori

Prof. Ofori expressed the hope that all who use the facility, will be inspired to dream, encouraged to achieve success as well as stimulated to write, speak, and be action oriented. He indicated that, in his opinion, Emeritus Prof. Adu Boahen epitomises all three attributes through his writings, speeches, and also through his academic and political life

The Dean of the School of Arts, Prof. Wazi Apoh, noted that, the event marks an important milestone in the growth and development of the Department of History. This grand opening is a testament to the hard work and commitment of faculty, staff and students. This will enable them to conduct research, read, develop ideas and to enhance scholarship in Ghana, he added

Dean of the School of Arts, Prof. Wazi Apoh

Prof. Apoh stated that research is essential in the humanities and that being able to conduct research in libraries and archives is a life skill. He expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders and encouraged all who will be using the facility to ensure the highest level of maintenance. 

The Head of the Department of History, Dr. Kwame Adum-Kyeremeh, outlined some of the challenges faced by the department since the 1950’s, one of which he noted, was the lack of space which made it difficult to keep more books and other references in the previously used Library. He emphasised that the opening of the facility will offer students a positive learning experience

Dr. Adum-Kyeremeh expressed his appreciation to the Adu Boahen Foundation, sponsors and all other stakeholders for their immense support and willingness in completing the project. He was specifically grateful to Dr. Victoria Ellen Smith for her significant role in the project, since 2015.  

An inside view of the Library

Speaking on behalf of the Adu Boahen Foundation, Mr. Eric Appiah, stated that the project began with discussions of how the foundation could support the department. He also recognised the role other stakeholders played in ensuring that the project was successful.  

Three key purpose statements serve as the cornerstone of the Adu Boahen Memorial Library and Archive. The first is to inspire all scholars and students of African history to employ empirical research methods and appropriate theory to critically analyse Africa’s past and create narratives that are detailed, accurate and true. 

The second is to encourage research that recognises Africa’s ancient origins and complex civilisations; that explores Africans’ responses to colonial rule and the influence of Africans on the wider world; and that evaluates modern history so as to nurture a sense of national pride for the betterment of Ghana and the continent as a whole. 

The third is to stimulate new academic writing that places African Actors at the centre of our stories and celebrates innovative approaches to scholarship; that disseminate research within and beyond the academy; and that showcases the historian’s craft though beautiful penmanship.  

The event ended with a tour of the ultramodern facility, led by Dr. Victoria Ellen Smith, the Founding Curator. 

Dr. Victoria Ellen Smith leading guests to tour the Library

Founding donors include the late Emeritus Prof. Adu Boahen; the Adu Boahen Foundation; Members of the Ghana Studies Association; Dr. Victoria Ellen Smith and Mr. Belal T. Majdoub; Dr. N.Y.B. Sarpong and Dr. C. Amoah-Boampong; Prof. Larry Yarak and Mrs. Brenda Blair; Prof. Benjamin Lawreance; Prof. R. H. Kofi Darkwah and family; HISTAL; Estate of Prof. Thomas Nyquist and Prof. Robert Addo-Fening. 

Some guests at the Opening touring the Library

Emeritus Prof. Albert Adu Boahen was the first African Head of the Department of History at the University of Ghana, a position which he held for seventeen years. 

The event was attended by Deans and Directors, Heads of Departments, Faculty, Lecturers, Staff, Representatives of the Adu Boahen Foundation, Representatives of all Donors, Family and Friends of the late Prof. Adu Boahen, students and members of the University community.