The database includes more than 3,000 references to works about the Lake Tanganyika hinterland, from the most recent to the oldest we could find, in the libraries of the Royal Museum for Central Africa and of the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). Each article or book has been read, analysed and assigned keywords, while the more general works lacking relevant information were omitted. Keywords were assigned not according to title but to content, and a specialized keyword thesaurus was compiled by scientific staff. Fields include all those pertaining to the social sciences and humanities.
Thus the visitor will find titles concerning, for example, development policies and their application, history, the socio-cultural aspects of medicine, economics, policy and linguistics.
Defining the Lake Tanganyika hinterland might seem an arbitrary process, but this was not the case for us. On the contrary, we defined it continually as we discovered relevant literature. Traces of historical links include not only past and present trade but also the common origin of ethnic groups or historical links between them. Ancient links between the Bemba, the Luba and the Lunda are well known, thus we included references testifying to these connections but not all titles about each of these populations. Moreover, we confined the notion of 'hinterland' to a context that does not require a full study (of post-doc quality) of the connection between these groups and faraway populations, such as the Kongo. Links between the east and west coasts of Central Africa are known to have existed for centuries, but finding sources about them was beyond the scope of this database.
The visitor eager to pursue such a study (or lesser endeavours beyond the scope of this database) can find rich documentation at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, among other locations, and, concerning works in the social sciences and humanities published as of 1983, in the bibliographic database http://societies.africamuseum.be.
This online posting builds on the expertise of researchers and continues the knowledge dissemination that the Social Sciences Documentation Centre has carried out for a century. We are happy to present this database to all researchers interested in the geographical area covered by CREATING and, in so doing, hope to foster interdisciplinary research in order to elucidate how people are at the core of history, whether that history concerns geography, climate change, or the creation and sharing of wealth.