History of the Project

As part of his doctoral research (2013-2018) on the history of Islamic activism among youth and women in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire since the 1970s, Frédérick Madore has digitized more than 7,000 newspaper articles about Muslims in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire since the 1960s (celebrations of religious holidays, organizations of Islamic activities, statements by Muslim leaders, interactions with Arab-Muslim countries, activities of Islamic NGOs, etc.), as well as nearly 1,000 various Islamic publications (pamphlets, bulletins, magazines, newspapers, monthlies, etc.), most of which have ceased publication. These sources provide an excellent means of tracing the history of Muslim communities.

Despite the growing popularity of digital humanities, a very limited number of initiatives related to Islam in West Africa have attempted to mobilize digital tools to process and analyze data, but more importantly to facilitate the dissemination and sharing of knowledge. The idea of openly distributing and archiving a large part of his corpus of sources, so that these documents can be consulted by researchers from all over the world to conduct new studies on Islam in Burkina Faso, has been strongly influenced by the digital humanities as well as the debates on open science.

This project is one of the first digital humanities initiatives to be published under a new University of Florida Libraries program, LibraryPress@UF. This program, an imprint of the Libraries and the University of Florida Press, seeks to develop public scholarship across formats that extend and complement the work of traditional academic publishing.

To learn more about this project, see Frédérick Madore, "La Collection Islam Burkina Faso : promesses et défis des humanités numériques", Revue d'Histoire Contemporaine de l'Afrique (2021).

Future Developments

In the next phase of the project, we will seek authorization from other Burkinabè newspapers to add new documents to the collection. In particular, a collaboration with the Centre National des Archives (CNA) in Ouagadougou would make possible, among other things, to include the hundreds of documents from the collection "7V485 Correspondance des communautés musulmanes au Chef de l'État. Textes réglementaires. 1956-1995" and those concerning the colonial period. The publication of archive inventories would also be an interesting option so that researchers could know the content of the documents available in Ouagadougou.

Towards an Islam West Africa Collection

In the medium to long term, the Islam Burkina Faso Collection will form part of a larger collaborative digital database on Islam in West Africa, which will include material that Frédérick Madore has already digitized as part of his research on Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Togo. It will involve a collaboration with colleagues of the Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Recherche, Religions, Espaces et Développement (LARRED) at the Université d'Abomey-Calavi (Benin), the Université Alassane Ouattara (Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire), and the Université de Lomé (Togo).

Project Director

Frédérick Madore is a Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). His research is comparative and explores the history of Islam and Muslim societies in Francophone West Africa from the 1950s to the present. He has conducted extensive fieldwork and archival research in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo, focusing on Islamic activism among youth and women, their appropriation of (new) media, and Muslim politics. He is the author of the book La construction d’une sphère publique musulmane en Afrique de l'Ouest (Presses de l'Université Laval/Éditions Hermann, 2016).

See his publications about Islam in Burkina Faso.

Linked Open Data (LOD) and Semantic Web

The database follows the principles of Linked Open Data (LOD) for publishing structured and interoperable machine-readable data on the semantic web. Wikidata Q identifiers have been used as URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) for named entities such as people, organizations, locations, events and topics wherever possible, in order to distinguish between entities with the same name, and to combine pseudonyms and name variants for a single entity. To express the (hierarchical) relationship between the two entities, we used the Dublin Core metadata elements "Is Part Of", "Relation", "Replaces", and "Is Replaced By". See for example the entity Communauté Musulmane du Burkina Faso.

All the data is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC 4.0).

OAI-PMH repository

The Islam Burkina Faso Collection OAI-PMH repository is accessible to all users and contains all documents in the database in the Dublin Core format.

Repository URL: https://islam.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/oai

Find out more.

How to cite

Citations vary according to the style adopted by the user (MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.). For example, to cite the website according to the Chicago Manual of Style, we recommend the following:

"Islam Burkina Faso Collection," 2021. https://islam.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/s/bf. Accessed February 10, 2021.

To cite a specific document within the website using the same citation style, users can do so as follows:

Ouattara, Ousmane Piè, "Projet ZACA: une marche aux allures islamiques." Islam Burkina Faso Collection, 29 March 2002, https://islam.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/s/bf/item/2008. Accessed February 10, 2021.


Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

This project was supported by the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program of Canada.

George A. Smathers Libraries - University of Florida

The libraries of the University of Florida form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida and serve every college and center in the university, including the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and the Health Science Center. UF’s libraries consist of seven libraries; six of which comprise the George A. Smathers Libraries. The Smathers Libraries actively collaborate with the Legal Information Center, which is a part of the Levin College of Law.

Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient

Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) is the only research institution in Germany that deals with the Middle East, Africa, Eurasia, South and Southeast Asia in an interdisciplinary and historically comparative perspective. The focus of research is the interaction of predominantly Muslim societies and their relationships with non-Muslim neighbouring regions.

Le Pays Newspaper

Founded in October 1991, this independent daily newspaper quickly became one of the most popular title in Burkina Faso.


L'Observateur Paalga Newspaper

Founded in 1973 under the name of L'Observateur, this independent daily newspaper ceased to appear in June 1984. It was relaunched in 1991 under the name of L'Observateur Paalga. It is now one of the most widely read newspaper in Burkina Faso.


Sidwaya Newspaper

Sidwaya is a national daily newspaper founded in 1984. A former state newspaper, it is now one of the major newspaper in Burkina Faso.


Comité Exécutif National de l'Association des élèves et étudiants musulmans au Burkina (A.E.E.M.B.)

Officially recognized in 1986, the AEEMB aims to promote Islam in the francophone educational community.


Cercle d'Etude, de Recherches et de Formation Islamiques (CERFI)

The CERFI, created in 1989, is a kind of extension of the AEEMB for activists who have entered the labour market.


Sahel Research Group - University of Florida

The Sahel Research Group at the University of Florida is a collaborative effort to understand the political, social, economic and cultural dynamics of the countries of the West African Sahel. Our focus is primarily on the six Francophone countries of the region—Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. We are also interested in developments in neighboring countries, to the north and south, whose dynamics frequently intersect with those of the Sahel. The Sahel Research Group brings together faculty and graduate students from various disciplines at the University of Florida, in collaboration with colleagues from the region.

Special Thanks

This website would not have been possible without the help and support of several people. We would like to thank especially the following individuals: