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Bibliography of Primary Sources of the Pre-Nineteenth Century East African Coast

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 May 2014

Randall L. Pouwels*
University of Central Arkansas,


The following bibliography is intended to supplement the excellent one (largely) of secondary sources compiled by Thomas Spear and published in History in Africa 27(2000). Research for a forthcoming monograph on the East African coast in the ‘middle’ period has taken me in recent years into a number of libraries and archives in India, East Africa, and Europe. There I have been able to build an extensive listing of source material and oral informants interviewed in East Africa. While this compilation includes many of the titles in Spear's list, study carried out in Goa and Lisbon afforded me the opportunity of viewing primary sources not included in Spear's collection. Despite the fact that this is still a work in progress, I submit this supplementary list hoping it might prove useful to other scholars interested in East Africa and the western Indian in the pre- and early-modern period.

Readers also will note that I have included some secondary listings not included in Spear's bibliography. This is due to the fact that my ideas concerning what is relevant to coastal history appear to be somewhat broader than Spear's. Consequently, this list includes some titles on southern and central Africa, as well as of coastal literature, which I have found to be useful and apposite to coastal studies. Naturally, I have tried not to duplicate titles found in Spear's list.

Research Article
Copyright © African Studies Association 2002

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