Colonial-era Library in Africa House

Library of the English club in Africa House Hotel, founded in 1888 for the use of English residents and naval officers stationed in the vicinity. A month after Zanzibar’s independence from Britain, a revolution overthrew the Sultan and a People’s Republic was declared. The English Club was ultimately abandoned, its purpose rendered obsolete by the absence of the coterie for which it catered. For the remainder of the century the building fell into disrepair and number of the library’s books were inevitably pilfered. The building was first reincarnated as the Africa House Hotel in 1988, and happily, much of the original library collection remains intact today.