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N-23B-164-003 - NOTES - Classeur N - Fonds d'archives Baulin


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June 10, 1971

Mr. Jacques Baulin
Couselor to the President of the Republic of Niger

Dear Mr. Baulin

I regret that I was not in New York during your visit in April, and thereby missed the opportunity of meeting with you. Miss Cynthia Wise of our office prepared a memorandum of metting with her at the Permanent Mission of Niger to the United Nations. It was through this memorandun that I because aware of your visit and of the needs expressed by you of President Boubou Hama in the domain of oral traditio,. pursuant to that meeting I have taken action in two area which I would like to report here.

The African Studies Association is a grouping of primarily American scholars, teachers and students intereseted in Africa. This organisation includes specialists in the fields of history, economics, literature, political science, linguistics, geography, anthropology and art. Most leading American Scholars involded in the study of Africa belong to ASA. One of its sub-committees, the Committee on Oral Data has been given a sum of money by the Ford Foundation to support researchers who are investigating oral history and contributing to archives. Very soon I hope to be able to bring together Ambassador Georges Condat, and Professor Graham Irwin, the Chairman of the Committee on Oral Data tp discuss the possibility of cooperation with President Boubou in this area of mutual interest. I shall, of course, inform you through the appropriate channels of the outcome of our meeting.

In a second area I have taken the liberty of contacting one of this country’s leading historiens concerned with the oral traditions and history of the west African sahel, selected North African areas and the linkages between these areas.This gentleman, Professor William Brown, has undertaken extensive research in the Macina area of Mali, and has recently returned from a field trip surveying archives and data in Africa. He is competent in both French and Arabic. He is presently on the history faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin and will join the faculty of Havard University, Cambridge,

Mr. Jacques Baulin


June 10, 1971

Massachusetts at the beginning of the next academic year. Professor Brown has been invited to spend the second semester of the 1971-72 academic year at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. During this time he hopes to visit Niger, and would welcome the opportunity of meeting with President Boubou to investigate the state of oral data gathering in Niger. I might add that Professor Brown has had much experience in photographing African historical documents for microfilm.

I would strongly suggest that you contact Professor Brown at the University of Wisconsin and relay to him the specific needs of Niger in gathering and recording oral tradition,and the preservation of manuscrits on microfilm. He has assured me that this is a field i, which he has maintained continuing professional interest, and I am sure that he can.

If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at the African-American Institute either directly, or through our representative in Niamey, Mrs. Gabriella Ranzoni. Also, please convey my personal best wishes to President and Mrs. Diori .

Yours sincerely,

Gibert K. Sherman
Program Officier
Evaluation & Development

GKS : hb

cc : Ambassador George Condat
Professor William Brown
Mrs. Gabriella Ranzoni

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