Center for Research Libraries - Global Resources Network

Thank you for using the African Newspaper Union List (AFRINUL).  In order to best facilitate your search, we have provided the following information about the search functions of the database.

Years Held
Currently Received
Sort Functions


AFRINUL uses Uniform Titles (UNF titles) in accordance with MARC bibliographic standards.   This will help the user best identify the title(s) being searched.

Example:  Both Malawi and Liberia publish a newspaper with the title Daily Times.  Moreover, The Daily Times in Liberia began in 1950, but a new publication under the same title began in 1997.  In order to distinguish between the titles, the UNF titles would be displayed as follows:

Daily times (Lagos, Nigeria)
Daily times (Monrovia Liberia)
Daily times (Monrovia, Liberia : 1997)

For many searches, AFRINUL will also include entries for earlier or later titles of the newspaper being searched.

Users may search for all or a portion of a title.  If your first search produces no results, try using a fragment of the title. 

The database will also search for any portion of a word.  A search for "tim" will produce results for words such as times and Boletim

For best results, do not include articles such as the or le at the beginning of a title.


Cities are spelled according to authority record standards.  For instance, the database will only accept the spelling of Addis Ababa in a city search.  A search for Adis Ababa will yield no results.  If your search yields no results, broaden your search to include only the country name.


A list of countries available in the database has been provided as a drop-down menu.  This will eliminate spelling differences or confusion in country name changes over time. 

Searches sorted by country will sort results according to the two-letter country code provided in the drop down menu.  This may result in some discrepancies in alphbetization.

Example:  The country code for Cote d'Ivoire is (IV).  In a sort by country, titles from Cote d'Ivoire may be listed after Guinea (GV).  Please examine the entire list of titles before assuming your search produced no results.

Years Held:

AFRINUL has attempted to provide search-narrowing capability by adding years held as a search criterion.  Users seeking newspaper holdings within specific time frames may use this function.

It should be noted, however, that the search function does not operate flawlessly.   Due to complexities of artificial intelligence, some titles may be excluded from a complex date search.  The search is currently weighted towards the end holding year, so that searches will pull up all material that include the end date specified.

Example:  A search for dates 1940-1990 will pull up titles held for the years in between 1940-1990 (and may include titles that continue 1990-present, so long as some of the holding dates are within 1990).  However, the search engine may miss a title whose holdings include 1935-1941 because of the beginning date parameter.

If your search using specific date parameters prove unsuccessful, try expanding the date range or search using only a beginning or ending date. 


A drop down menu of all languages available in the database has been provided.  In some cases, more than one language may be used within a newspaper.


This feature, to be added shortly, will allow users to search for titles by current frequency.

Currently Received:

This indicates that a newspaper is currently being received by a participating library (current subscription or standing order for material).  For a list of all newspapers currently received by participating libraries, check "yes" with no other delimiters.

Sort Functions:

The default sort for results is by Title only.  You may choose to sort by title, city, country, or language.  You may also choose to set several criteria (such as by country, then city, then title) in order to best display your results.