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The Vestiges Biographical Notes Series

As an initiative to promote life writing in Africa we introduce the <> This will allow the rapid publication of shorter (or longer) biographical notices about prominent individuals who are no longer with us (see appendix for guidance about notes on the living). We envision these notes as providing guidance for future historians, alerting them to possible subjects for further research.


We provide templates in English and French. These outline the minimum which is required. We will happily include longer, more elaborate entries and, with the permissions of the families involved, we can also include funerary orations and video but these must stand as appendices rather than the main entries. Note that this series is published under a Creative Commons CC BY license so it may be used by Wikipedia.

Template: Headings

Summary Basic information: date and place of birth, date and place of death. A few sentences about their significance. Early life Career Notable Achievements Awards/ Honours/ Public Recognition References Other Sources
Appendices: funerary eulogies, commemorative video, photographs Note on length: there is no fixed requirement for the length of the Biographical Notes. We expect they will be mainly from 300 to 1000 words. We recognise that for many people, for example, in rural Africa, there are no or very few documentary sources. If the Biographical Note is based on oral testimony the names of the interviewees should be given in Other Sources. If anonymity has been promised please explain why this was deemed necessary. Note on publication schedules etc Unlike the main journal this series is not governed by the notion of issues: notes will be published as soon as they are submitted and edited with a referring Date and Sequence number and later included in an official issue of Vestiges

Appendix: Note on Entries on Living People

Sadly we cannot accept Entries on Living People without their explicit permission – such is the concern about the possibility of litigation we need a signed letter of approval of the text and for its publication in Vestiges from the research subject if they are still living at the time of writing.


I the undersigned ____________________ have seen the text of the biographical summary prepared by ___________________ and I approve its publication in the Vestiges Biographical Notes Series. This letter stands as certification that I will not make any claim against the author or Vestiges for libel or on any other ground on the basis of the text published in Vestiges Journal.