Archives and the Public Good – 70 Years of University of Ghana’s Contribution to Unifying Ghanaian Cultures: The J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives in Perspective

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University of Ghana


National independence in many African countries has been followed by a cultural self-assessment. Many African heritage institutions as well as some institutions of learning, therefore, started undertaking research and documentation of their cultural traditions in the wake of and after independence. The initiative taken by the University of Ghana to record, preserve, promote and disseminate knowledge of traditional music and related arts, is a remarkable achievement of the twentieth century. Four years into the establishment of the University of Ghana (UG), the idea of unifying the nation through collecting and archiving Ghanaian musical resources was conceived by young Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia, a research fellow in African Studies at the Sociology Department of the University. Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia embraced this initiative and generously supported the young Nketia with the necessary resources. The unique collection hosted by the Archives has brought new challenges and insights, not only to the music public, but also to scholars, researchers, educators and record managers in Ghana and beyond.



Archives, Public Good, J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives, Ghana