Visiting Archivist at Harriet Tubman Institute: Abu Koroma

Visiting Archivist at Harriet Tubman Institute: Abu Koroma

 Abu Koroma is a visiting archivist from Sierra Leone. He has been working as a records officer and research assistant at the Sierra Leone Public Archives for the past 14 years. As well as being involved in various projects worldwide, He is part of a team of two digitizing the endangered Archives materials in the Sierra Leone Public Archives under the British Library Endangered Archives Programme.

The British Library Endangered Archives project under the leadership of Professor Suzanne Schwarz and Professor Paul Lovejoy aims to preserve documents in the Sierra Leone Public Archives in Freetown which are essential in understanding the transatlantic slave trade, its abolition and the African diaspora through a process of digitisation.

This work involves the cooperation of the Tubman institute here in Toronto, University of Worcester in UK and the Sierra Leone public archives based in Freetown. Abu, during his visit at the Harriet Tubman Institute (York University), taught research assistants and students involved with the project about the techniques used in the Sierra Leone archive.

He has also been awarded the Harriet Tubman Training Certificate for British Library Endangered Programme under the coordination of Bruno Véras. In order to receive the certificate, he went through a thorough course on the work that is done at the Tubman which was instructed by the research assistants who have been working on the project. The hope for the project is to train Abu on the work done here, so that the digitisation process can be done entirely in Sierra Leone. Abu observes that his personal interactions with the tutors involved and working with “Bruno Véras and rest of the team of students has revealed just how loyal all involved are to fulfill the Center’s mission.”

Koroma also held a presentation where he shared his experience as an archivist with the Sierra Leone National Archives and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. This joint SHADD, British Library Endangered Archive EAP782 and CSiW projects event was followed by a long discussion on digital humanities and the politics of knowledge production.


By Angela Ouma


Research Assistant at the Harriet Tubman Institute (York University)

4th Year Political Science and African Studies Undergraduate


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