The Transcription Centre began its brief but significant life in February 1962 under the direction of Dennis Duerden (1927-2006), producing and distributing radio programs for and about Africa. The organization was created with funding provided initially by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) to foster non-totalitarian cultural values in sub-Saharan Africa in implicit opposition to Soviet-encouraged committed political attitudes among African writers and artists. The records of the Transcription Centre comprise scripts and manuscripts, correspondence, legal documents, business records, ephemera, photographs, and clippings. Particularly noteworthy is a large file of scripts and script fragments arranged topically as a broadcast and publishing resource, including material not represented elsewhere in the papers. Making up about a quarter of the papers, the correspondence series contains significant evidence of the Transcription Centre's efforts on behalf of African art, writing, and scholarship through broadcasting, conferences, and cultural festivals. The correspondence files include artists (Jimo Akolo, Julian Bienart) and writers (Chinua Achebe, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Rajat Neogy, David Rubadiri), as well as academics and other scholars (Ulli Beier, Sillaty K. Dabo, Gerhard Kubik, Margaret Laurence, Ivan van Sertima). The extensive body of correspondence with Wole Soyinka is especially noteworthy.
Bought & Sold: An Investigative Documentary About the International Trade in Women, filmed between 1995-1997, investigates the illegal trafficking of women out of Russia and into Asia, Europe and the United States through interviews with trafficked women, traffickers, law enforcement officials, social workers, and mafia members in Russia, eastern Europe, and Japan. In partnership with WITNESS, Steve Galster, Executive Director, and Gillian Caldwell, Co-Director of the non-governmental organization Global Survival Network, filmed and conducted the investigative journalism for the documentary. In order to gain entry to trafficking networks, Galster and Caldwell established a dummy business that claimed to import foreign women. To the extent permissible by law, Galster and Caldwell secretly filmed in the environments in which trafficked women worked. Whenever possible, Galster and Caldwell disclosed their research intentions. The film was released in 1997 and received widespread media coverage in the US and abroad, including specials on ABC Primetime Live, CNN, and BBC.