Institute of African Studies Audiovisual Archive (University of Ghana)


Founded in 1992 by Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia, Institute of African Studies Audiovisual Archive (IAS) holds over 1 500 open reel tapes containing unique recordings of music from Ghana and across the continent. IAS is based at the University of Ghana in Accra.

In 2008, IAS inherited the audiovisual heritage collections from the International Centre for African Music and Dance (ICAMD). The aim of the archive was to serve the needs of scholars, researchers, and artists by collecting and producing audiovisual information on the country’s dance and music traditions as well as other countries around the world. The collection is in various formats, from quarter inch open reels, digital audio cassettes, micro cassettes, U-matics, Beta tapes, VHS, S-VHS, 78 rpm shellacs, LPs, Video8, Hi-8, audio cassettes, Mini-DVs, CDs, to DVDs.

The gems of the ICAMD collection are the recordings of Prof Nketia which dates to the early 1950s. These recordings document music and dance traditions from around Ghana representing an invaluable glimpse of Ghanaian and African heritage. This collection formed the basis of the establishment of the Institute of African Studies (IAS).

The Institute of African Studies (I.A.S) Audio Visual Archive represents both the I.A.S Audio Visual unit and the ICAMD audio visual archive. Documented materials in this archive are deposited in formats such as Reel to reel (1/4"), Shellacs (78, 45 and 33rpm), Digital Audio Tape (DAT), Audio Cassettes, Compact Discs (CD), Betacam, U-matic, VHS, Hi-8, Video 8, Mini-DV and micro cassettes.

The collections include examples of anansesԑm, mmoguo and durugya music, rare recordings from the Konkomba, Mamprusi, Frafra, Dagarti and Kasena tribes; and songs for funeral dirges, hunting storytelling and Ghana Dance Ensemble performances from the early 1980s to date. Also included is old highlife music, old brass band music, folk and other African music on 78 rpm, shellacs and LPs.

GHAccra, Ghana
In operation since: 


University of Ghana
Profile added by Ano Shumba on 09 Sep 2015