Monthly Archives: May 2016

Mende notebooks of Bokari Kanneh, ca. 1950

Some notebooks have recently been transferred, within Yale, from the Art Gallery to the special collections of Sterling Memorial Library’s Manuscripts and Archives.  A snippet of the kind of content contained in the notebooks can be found here.  These were donated by Dr. Konrad Tuchscherer of St. John’s University.

In principle, the text should be fairly straightforward to transcribe, following the Unicode code chart here for the Kikakui script of the Mende language.  But there is enough variance between the manuscript and the encoding that it will take some extra efforts to ensure that an accurate transcription can be made.  Please leave a comment if you have any competence in Mende or familiarity with the Kikakui script; I’d love to hear from you!

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A Vai manuscript from 1913

In 2005, Dr. Mohamed B. Nyei and Dr. John Singler brought to my attention a manuscript of 180 pages that had been borrowed in Liberia from the family of its author, Boima Kiakpomgbo. With Mohamed’s permission, I digitized the manuscript that year using a large-format scanner. Since last year, Tombekai Sherman has been working to transcribe and translate the manuscript. I am posting here files from the work in progress, as Mohamed prepares to return to Liberia later this year.


MSVai1913_1_1 MSVai1913_1_2 MSVai1913_1_3 MSVai1913_1_4

MSVai1913_1_5 MSVai1913_1_6 MSVai1913_1_7 MSVai1913_1_8

MSVai1913_2_1 MSVai1913_2_2 MSVai1913_2_3 MSVai1913_2_4


MSVai1913_3_1 MSVai1913_3_2 MSVai1913_3_3

MSVai1913_4_1 MSVai1913_4_2

MSVai1913_5_1 MSVai1913_5_2

MSVai1913_6_1 MSVai1913_6_2 MSVai1913_6_3 MSVai1913_6_4

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