Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about ASK-DL. If you cannot find an answer to your query below, please contact ASK-DL for more information.
About ASK-DL

The ASK-DL project focuses on eight African languages: three West African languages – Berber, Mandinka, Wolof; and five East African languages – Amharic, Oromo, Tigrigna, Somali, and Swahili.

The ASK-DL library contains documents written in African languages utilizing African scripts. These documents include unpublished booklets, poetry, essays, treatises, travelogues, and private letters, among many other types of documents. ASK-DL also contains historically handwritten materials.

Africa's Sources of Knowledge Digital Library (ASK-DL) is a digital library that makes accessible rare and out-of-print African-language documents of literary and historical importance.

Documents in ASK-DL

ASK-DL document translations are primarily in the English language. However, the system supports more languages and some documents have been translated into French and Kiswahili. If you would like to contribute with translating documents into other languages, please contact ASK-DL learn more about ASK-DL document translation opportunities.

Getting Involved

ASK-DL welcomes all community input into improving its resources and provided several avenues for users to voice their opinions and contribute to the quality of the content of the library. If you are fluent in a document's language and believe that a the accuracy of given translation could be improved, please voice your opinion in the document's comments section; you can also discuss the translation in question in the ASK-DL Translation forum. All user discussions are moderated by ASK-DL administrators and are incorporated into document quality improvement.

If you maintain a library database, you can integrate it with ASK-DL to make it even easier for users to discover the contents of your resource. ASK-DL offers several levels of external resource integration depending on the terms and conditions of the external resource. You can submit bibliographic records to ASK-DL or provide access to your resource through web service APIs. Please contact ASK-DL to learn more about integrating your resource with ASK-DL.

ASK-DL users can submit documents to the library. Each document submitted to the library is subjected to thorough review and must meet ASK-DL standards before it can be published to the website. To submit a document to the library, a user must have an account on the ASK-DL website. ASK-DL accounts are free and registration is open to everyone.

African Language Program at Harvard University