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Celebrating the Life

UT Collections

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  • 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.

    1979-1983, (bulk: 1960-1977)
    Harry Ransom Center