Collection materials in format
The Namibia Collection contains approximately 400 titles of literature written in the languages of Ovamboland, currently Namibia, from 1876 up until the 1980
The Namibia Collection contains approximately 400 titles of literature written in the languages of Ovamboland, currently Namibia, from 1876 up until the 1980s. The collection contains primarily religious literature but also guides in the local languages, such as alphabet books, grammars and other text books, fiction, fairytales and stories. The collection also includes periodicals.
The basis of the national literature of Namibia was created by Finnish missionaries from the 1870s on. The books were printed in Finland up to the early-1900s.. The first published book was Pietari Kurvinen's alphabet book in Ndonga language, ABD Moshindonga, from 1876. The missionaries got their own printing press in Oniipa in 1901, but books were still also printed in Finland, sometimes London or even Cape Town. The first books printed in Oniipa were catechisms in Ndonga and Uukuanjama languages published in 1902. Finnish missionaries have published literature in Ndonga for over 100 years.
The Namibia Collection does not include literature on missionary work or conditions in Ovamboland or Namibia written in Finnish.
More information about cataloguing
Information pertaining to the oldest Namibia materials is available in the card index of the National Collection. From the 1970s, the materials have been catalogued in the National Library Search.
The collection has accrued through donations and acquisitions. Books printed in Finland have been received into the collection as legal deposit copies.