Sunday, 14 October 2012


I can't resist posting a few more photos taken on a flight from Dar to Zanzibar, adding to those I put up earlier this year under the heading Flying from Dar to Zanzibar. The following shots were taken on a Coastal Aviation flight on 22nd September this year: we left Dar half an hour after midday and arrived in Zanzibar about twenty minutes later. This time my camera didn't run out of memory and I managed to get some images of the final stages of the flight.

Mlimani: the University of Dar es Salaam
Coastline north of Dar es Salaam
The sea, mid-channel
Controls in mid-flight (flight path and location on the screens)
Submerged island and reef
Chumbe island and lighthouse
Ras Shangani from the south
Zanzibar town from the south
suburbs of Zanzibar town

Saturday, 13 October 2012


The first issue (1968 reprint)
I've no doubt that my interior life would have been much poorer without Tanganyika Notes and Records (renamed Tanzania Notes and Records after Independence), and it's no accident that I've given this blog a related name. I can't count the number of articles that I've enjoyed and used in my own research and writing, an eclectic mix of natural history, ethnobiology (avant la lettre), oral tradition, cultural history, ethnography, and much more besides. I wish I'd had the gumption to write something for TNR before it fizzled out in 1985 (rumour has it that some luckless contributors still have papers in press), and was thrilled to take part more recently in discussions about reviving it (alas these also seem to have fizzled out).

In the 1990s I bought a partial set of the journal from the street booksellers of Dar, including some handsomely-bound volumes as well as loose single issues. For some years I carried around a crumpled piece of paper listing the numbers that I was still after, until there was a crackdown on my favourite traders (whose sources, it must be said, weren't entirely above suspicion) and the supply of odd issues of TNR dried up. The patchy collection I ended up with has given me endless pleasure, as well as providing bouts of frustration every time a much-desired issue disappears or turns out to be one of the ones that I don't possess. I'm still looking for some rogue numbers. 

One of the later covers (with humidity-induced mottling)
Fortunately my days of having to drive to the nearest TNR-endowed library (at least I live near to one) have now ended: the entire run of TNR from 1936 has been uploaded to COS eLib, the digital library of COSTECH, the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology. If you have sufficient bandwidth -- some of the pdfs are very large -- individual articles can be downloaded with a simple click. When the TNR files were first posted almost two years ago, the site itself seemed to have insufficient capacity, and downloading was well-nigh impossible. I'm happy to report that this technical problem has since been resolved, and when I tried last week I was able to download all the articles that I wanted to (Oh bliss!).

As I wish you happy hunting (here's the TNR search page), let me end this post by reproducing Kim Howell's Introduction to the TNR archive:

Introduction and Acknowledgements
This PDF version of Tanzania Notes and Records was made possible through a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) as part of the project Making Data Available on the Species and Sites of the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forest Hotspot in Tanzania to the Department of Zoology & Wildlife Conservation of the University of Dar es Salaam. CEPF is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
Dr. Alan Rodgers, a former staff member of the University of Dar es Salaam, and a member of the Tanzania Society and who served on the editorial board of Tanzania Notes & Records, had generously volunteered his complete set of the journal for scanning as PDF files. After his untimely death, the Joint Library of Nature Kenya and National Museums of Kenya allowed its series of the journal to be used. The East Africana Section of the University of Dar es Salaam main campus library provided copies missing from the Nature Kenya collection. Ms Sydna Kaitany and Ms. Ashah Owano tirelessly carried out the huge task of scanning and indexing all of the issues of the Journal. John Watkin and Kristina Razon of CEPF greatly facilitated funding arrangements that permitted the project and Mr. Paul Matiku, Executive Director of Nature Kenya and Dr. Cuthbert Nahonyo, Head of the Department of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, University of Dar es Salaam, where the CEPF project was based, all ensured the success of the project.
It is hoped that making this information available will enable a new generation of researchers and interested individuals to be aware of the efforts of previous generations of contributors of knowledge about Tanzania and that it will facilitate the availability of the information to current workers and researchers.
When I discussed the inception of this project with Alan Rodgers, who showed his usual enthusiasm and commitment, he had suggested that the PDF version be dedicated to all of those who contributed to the success of the Tanzania Society and its journal over the years, the authors, support staff and selfless editors.
However, in addition, it is the desire of all involved in this project that it honour the memory of Alan Rodgers, who worked tirelessly in his efforts not only to document Tanzania's flora and fauna, but also to work towards its conservation and towards the training of Tanzanians to improve the capability of the country to manage its unique cultural and natural heritage.

Kim M. Howell
Department of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation
University of Dar es Salaam
18th November 2009