Buea Archives

The below links provide relevant information about the National Archives of Cameroon in Buea. Founded in the 1960s by British scholars (Edwin and Shirley Ardener), the Buea Archives store all of the British documents concerned with the history of today’s South-West and North-West Regions of Cameroon dating back to 1916. Unlike the few earlier sources (German reports, travelers’ diaries), the British colonial documents cover the whole region and include maps, drawings, pictures, genealogies, etc., often dealing with little-studied areas of Cameroon.

Buea National Archives, August 2015

Information about the British founders of the Buea National Archives: Shirley and Edwin Ardener.

EAP506: A pilot project to survey the Buea Archives and other potentially endangered archives in western Cameroon

“The National Archives of Cameroon in Yaoundé and Buea” by  Alois Maderspacher

Buea Archives To Be Digitalized

Ama Muna To Breathe Life Into Buea Archives

Cameroon: Buea – Experts Begin Digitalization of Archives

Primus Forgwe was the chief archivist of the National Archives in Buea for many years. Forgwe is now retired and currently volunteering to keep the Buea archives alive. Click here to read an interview with Mr. Forgwe (conducted by Elvis Tah).

Shirley Ardener and Jacqueline-Bethel Mougoué, Institute of Social & Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK, July 2017

Primus Forgwe Azah gives Rosario Mazuela a tour of the Buea National Archives:

Arrey Ivo interviews Enanga Njie, a representative from the National Archives in Buea:

The Cameroon Press Photo Archive (CPPA) was founded in Buea in January 1955 by the British colonial administration and operated until the 1990s. The photographers working with the government were responsible for covering the President’s and Prime Minister’s official events of public interest as well as social and cultural celebrations.

Endangered Archives Programme. The project succeeded in digitizing and describing 74 folders (7,948 archival digital images) mostly containing British colonial records and containing the oldest materials in Cameroon’s archives. The contents and conditions of 31 repositories in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon were assessed as part of a supraregional survey.


Conference participants visiting the Buea National Archives in January 2015. The African Photography Initiatives organized the conference, “Validating Visual Heritage in Africa: Historical Photographs and the Role of the “Archive.”


The first phase of the preservation project of the Buea Press Photo Archives began in mid-February 2013. More information on the Buea Archives Digitization Project can be found below (video by Rosario Mazuela):

Click here to learn more about the National Archives in Yaoundé

Video Projects on Daily Life in English-Speaking Cameroon:

Riding Through Bamenda

Drive from Half Mile to Down Town Beach, Limbe

Limbe Zoo to Limbe Beach

Buea to Mile 17 A ride from Cameroon Mountain

Mount Cameroon, Buea Cameroon

Going to work in Buea, Cameroon

Something New in Old Town by Jude Fokwang. The documentary explores the efforts of dozens of young women and men in the sprawling community of Old Town in Bamenda, Cameroon, in part to make sense of the ways in which communities “forgotten” by the state are grappling with development challenges in the neoliberal era.