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About this collection

The Mara Cultural Heritage Digital Library (MCHDL) is intended as a way to share Dr. Jan Bender Shetler's collection of primary resources with other researchers as well as to repatriate the culturally significant contents to peoples living in the Mara Region of Northwestern Tanzania. Dr. Shetler's collection consists largely of audio, video, transcripts, and photos of the hundreds of interviews she has conducted in the region over the last two decades, particularly in South Mara. It will also include a significant collection of materials from Zedekia Oloo Siso of Buturi, who recorded interviews in North Mara over more than a decade. Digitizing this collection and then distributing it online and on DVD makes it accessible to scholars around the world. Most importantly, the end goal is to return access to Tanzanians who increasingly have access to computers despite rural settings.

This collection is only a small sample of Dr. Shetler's materials and is still a work in progress. Very few video files have been integrated and only a fraction of overall audio has been added so far. Contact Dr. Jan Bender Shetler at for more information.

*To access some features in Swahili, replace the "en" in the URL with "sw"

How to find information in the Mara Cultural Heritage Digital Library collection

There are 8 ways to find information in this collection:

  • search for particular words that appear in the text by clicking the Search button
  • browse documents by Ethnicity by clicking the Ethnicity button
  • browse documents by Subjects by clicking the Subjects button
  • browse documents by Type by clicking the Type button
  • browse documents by Places by clicking the Places button
  • browse documents by Status by clicking the Status button
  • browse documents by Genre by clicking the Genre button
  • browse documents by Name by clicking the Name button