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Prof. James Barber donates books to Makerere University

  • In General
  • 24 Feb 2014 - 1:47pm
  • By Elias Tuhereze
  • 433
L-Prof. Musoke,R-Prof. James Barber

“He lived in Uganda-spent most of his time working in Karamoja. He worked in other places in Africa, but his love for Makerere University lived on, and will live on for eternity.”
On Monday 17th February 2014, it was a dream come true for Professor James Barber who wished that his rich collection of books be donated to no other institution, but Makerere University. The Makerere University Librarian, Professor Maria Musoke received the rich collection of books focusing on Africa, Uganda, history, politics, religion, social sciences, and governance among other disciplines. 
Professor James Barber was a District Officer in the Uganda Colonial Service (1955-1963), serving mostly in Karamoja (where his sons were born). He finally acted as Secretary to the first post-independence Ugandan government for a transition year. Thereafter he moved into the academic world and specialized in international affairs and southern Africa in particular. He wrote a number of books but also accumulated a large academic library-much of it focused on ‘Africania.’
Handing over the books on behalf of Professor James Barber and family-the representative Mr. Peter Brown said:   “So, as Director of the British Council in Uganda and on behalf of Professor Barber and his family, it gives me enormous pleasure to hand over his collection to the University Librarian, Professor Maria Musoke-I have no doubt that these books will serve to enrich your collection and it is my sincere hope that these books that have been gathered and treasured by the Barber family for so long will now serve to benefit and in turn be treasured by Ugandan students and academics for years to come!”
In her address, Professor Maria Musoke said that in March 2012, she received an e-mail from the Vice Chancellor informing her that there was a retired Professor who wanted to donate books to Makerere University.  The University Librarian together with Mr. Fredrick Lugya responded that they were interested in the books and would be in the United Kingdom in August 2012.
“Fredrick and I, went to Cambridge.  We noted that the books would enrich the Africana section. Professor Barber stressed that he wanted his books to find home in the Makerere University Library, and as such, would ensure that the books were delivered and handed over to Makerere University,” reported Professor Maria Musoke.
Facing the 29 large boxes containing the rich collection of books, Professor Musoke said:  “We are glad to receive the books. We thank Professor James Barber and family for choosing Makerere University-as a home for his collection. The books are valuable. I assure Professor Barber and family that we shall process the books. The books will appear on our catalogue. The books will greatly enrich the Africana section.”
The representative, Mr. Peter Brown informed the audience that Professor Barber is now a very elderly man, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but he knew that Professor Barber would be lifted by the news that his library’s odyssey has now come to a successful conclusion and that his invaluable collection has at last found an appropriate and a welcoming home.

The Librarians, Makerere University Senior Public Relations Officer and a team from the British Council witnessed the historic physical book donation held in the New Library Building Extension.

Story by:   Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

Photos by:  British Council team

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