The Institute maintains a research and reference library, unparalleled in the region, with holdings of books, journals, off-prints, theses, and grey literature covering African (and especially Eastern African) history, archaeology, ethnography and related subjects. As well as being open from 8am-4:30pm on weekdays, it is now open on Saturdays from 8am-1pm.

BIEA also maintains a large archive of unpublished records and images collected by a wide range of researchers over the last 50 years. We are currently in the process of organising these records and many have now been digitised by our partners Aluka and Jstor.

Following a recent database survey, several reading materials were reportedly lost or overdue from the library over the years. Therefore the management has decided to suspend loaning of reading materials for the time being as from 01/01/2017. Kindly not in advance also that only registered members will be allowed to access the library. We apologise for inconveniences this may cause.

BIEA Online Library Catalogue

BIEA Online Library Catalogue

BIEA Online Library Catalogue

The BIEA library catalog can be accessed on-line here.

Using the Library

The library is open to members of the Institute and bona fide scholars, both resident in the region and visiting, and those associated with the universities, museums and cognate institutions in eastern Africa. Library users also have access to Jstor through the BIEA computers.

BIEA Library


BIEA holds a large collection of unpublished documents, records, notes and images collected by a variety of researchers. These records are currently being reorganized and are available for consultation by interested researchers.

BIEA-Aluka Digital Archive

In addition, the BIEA has recently begun digitizing many of these records in association with the JSTOR-based charity Aluka. Consequently, BIEA records from a number of important historic and archaeological sites can now be accessed via the Aluka website Researchers using BIEA computers have free access to Aluka’s entire archive. In addition, the BIEA’s Digital Archive can be accessed directly via our research computers on request.

The BIEA-Aluka digital archive contains records from the following sites/regions

  • Aksum, Ethiopia
  • Kilwa, Tanzania
  • Engaruka, Tanzania
  • Somalia (currently being digitised)

For persons with mobility difficulties, please indicate when you RSVP for necessary venue arrangements to be made. For more information and to RSVP contact [email protected]