David Henige

David Patrick Henige (born 1938)[1] is an American historian, bibliographer, academic librarian and Africanist scholar. The majority of Henige's academic career has been spent in affiliation with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where for over three decades he held the position of bibliographer in African studies at UW–Madison's Memorial Library. Henige has written several books and more than 170 scholarly papers in his major fields of interest, African studies and history, as well as substantial contributions to historiography, librarianship, epistemology, the nature of oral history and myth, and critiques of historical methodologies.

As an undergraduate, Henige attended the University of Toledo, Ohio in the 1960s, obtaining first a B.A. then a Master's degree in history.[2] In 1973 he completed a PhD in African History in 1973 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He undertook Fieldwork towards his degree in Ghana, West Africa.[2] Henige's long association with the Memorial Library began during his PhD studies, when he worked for the library.

After completing his PhD, Henige taught for a year at the University of Birmingham's Centre of West African Studies, a research department established a decade earlier by the noted Africanist scholar John D. Fage.

Preferring the autonomy of a bibliographer to lecturing, Henige returned to Wisconsin in 1974[3] to take a position at the Memorial Library. He thereafter completed a master's degree in Library and information science in 1978.[2]

Henige was the founder and editor of the journal History in Africa from 1974 to 2010.[4]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF). Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
  2. ^ a b c University of Wisconsin Foundation (2005, p.24)
  3. ^ See comments in University of Wisconsin Foundation (2005, p.24).
  4. ^ Doortmont, Michel R. (2011). "Making History in Africa: David Henige and the Quest for Method in African History". History in Africa. 38 (1): 7–20. doi:10.1353/hia.2011.0001. ISSN 1558-2744.


Block, David (1994). "Quincentennial Publishing: An Ocean of Print". Latin American Research Review. Santa Fe, NM: University of New Mexico, on behalf of the Latin American Studies Association. 29 (3): 101–128. ISSN 0023-8791. OCLC 200175822. Archived from the original (online reproduction) on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
University of Wisconsin Foundation (Winter 2005). "Treasured job leads to library gift" (PDF). Wisconsin Campaign Insights. Madison, WI: UW Foundation. 3 (1): 24. Archived from the original (PDF online publication) on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
Landau, Paul Stuart (2011). The power of doubt: essays in honor of David Henige. Parallel Press. ISBN 978-1-934795-30-9. Retrieved 8 August 2016.

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