Library Background

The Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library (IES Library) came into being in 1963 together with the foundation of the mother organization Institute of Ethiopian Studies. It is one of the Addis Ababa University’s principal research libraries, as well as the world’s premier center of information and documentation about Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The location of the IES library is in Main campus of Addis Ababa University, sidest kilo.
The main objective of the library is to foster and facilitate research in all fields of Ethiopian studies, most particularly in the humanities and social studies. It helps in the preservation of the Ethiopian cultural heritage by collecting, organizing, processing, thereby making them accessible to local and foreign researchers and scholars.
The IES library has the following sections:

  1. The Foreign Languages Library (OPAC, HTTP://
  2. The Ethiopian Languages Collection
  3. The Archives and Manuscripts
  4. The Wolde Meskel Memorial Research Center
  5. Audiovisual materials
  6. Automation and Digitization Section

Each section has its own peculiarities in terms of the documents it houses. Currently, the documents are very old but very important for researchers. The sections have rare and age-old document collections. As a result, the documents are very precious; they are not available in other libraries. Since, the documents are rare, long-existing in service and have great value for research, they need to be handled with special care and preserving mechanisms.

Currently, the library has enough IT-skilled supportive staff.
The IES library gives service for foreign researchers who come from Asia, Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East countries. The local users are the members of regional universities, private universities students, individual researchers, and government-affiliated researchers.
So, to make the documents accessible to researchers and preserve them for posterity digitization is the main tool.