University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

Faculty & Staff

Harold Scheub, Gatherer of Stories, Retires

(Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications)

(Photo by Jeff Miller, University Communications)

Harold Scheub, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Humanities in the Department of African Languages and Literature, retires this month after four decades of teaching at UW–Madison. As a doctoral student, Scheub was invited into rural homes in parts of Africa to listen to storytellers. Scheub learned Xhosa, Swahili and Yoruba and traveled through South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. According to an article recently published from College of Letters & Science News, “[H]e brought thousands of recordings back to UW-Madison, where he introduced students to the oral traditions of Africa, and embarked on a teaching and writing career that illuminated an art as old as human existence.”

University of Madison Digital Collections Center has an entire collection from these travels, entitled the Harold E. Scheub Collection. The collection includes images and sounds gathered (available both for viewing and listening), as well as a digital copy of South African Voices, a 3-part series written by Scheub. Each volume is also available for purchase from Parallel Press, the UW–Madison Libraries’ publisher.

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