The African Music Archives (AMA), founded in 1991, contains a collection of modern African music which is unique in Germany. It includes shellacs and vinyl-records, audio- and videotapes, CD’s and DVD’s. At present, there are approx. 10.000 sound carriers, part of them dating back to the 1940’s. Regional emphasis is on Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo (Ex-Zaire), Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. Beyond that, more or less representative inventories from almost any sub-Saharan Country can be found in the collection, which is continuously extended by additional purchases. Several thousands of newspaper clippings are preserved, sorted by country, genre and artist. The articles, reports, interviews, reviews, etc. present a vast amount of background material that can be inspected on the spot.

Successive cataloguing of all archival holdings in the OPAC online catalog of the University Library of Mainz shall guarantee that the entire collection is available for online research in the near future.

Dr. Wolfgang Bender was founder and head of the AMA until his departure in 2008. From 2008 to 2010 Prof. Dr. Matthias Krings took the position of the temporary Director. Since March 2010 Dr. Hauke Dorsch is the Scientific Director of the AMA.



  • Acetate (approx 100)
  • Shellac (78rpm/approx. 800)
  • Vinyl LPs (33 rpm / approx. 5200)
  • Vinyl singles (45 rpm / approx. 1900)
  • Music cassettes (approx 1500)
  • CDs (approx 980)
  • DAT tapes
  • VHS (approx 1300)
  • DVDs (approx 250)
  • Video CDs (approx 270)
  • other (journal articles, posters ...)