Marie-Geneviève GUESDON (Service des Manuscrits orientaux) : Table ronde sur les éditions critiques, à partir des sources manuscrites en arabe et en langue non arabe
In the 1950s and 1960s the knowledge of Africa became radically redefined and African historical studies started to move beyond the limitations of the previous historical scholarship by elaborating a new
approach to the study of the African past.
To reassess and rewrite African history from the African perspective new historical sources had to be discovered, authenticated and examined. The new African historical research and writing started to pay a great attention to the discovery of new, hitherto unused historical sources, Arabic records, oral historical traditions and locally scripted African historical texts. Huge areas of documentation started to come to light. One of the major deficiencies of African history was a total lack of basic heuristic and material works and editions of documents that in other historiographies had appeared in preceding centuries. A proposal was submitted to l’Union Académique Internationale in Brussels to sponsor the publication of source materials for the history of Africa through wide-ranging international co-operation. The international editing and publishing project Fontes Historiae Africanae project was adopted by the UAI in 1964.