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Archives and Libraries in South Africa

Archival Platform
The Archival Platform is a non-profit initiative established under the auspices of the University of Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to play a catalytic role in the way in which practitioners, theorists and the general public think about the archive and the ways in which archiving is practised in South Africa.

On one hand, the Archival Platform is intended to draw attention to the political and social role of archives in deepening democracy, encouraging the exercise of active citizenship, and facilitating the work of building social cohesion in a historically fractured society. On the other, it is intended to address the specific concerns of the sector – the practical challenges of digitisation, poor communication and co-ordination, uneven or inadequate funding, and training opportunities.

National Archives of South Africa
Records reflect the activities of governments in South Africa and their impact on the lives of ordinary people since middle of the 17th century. The records are generated at national, provincial and local government level, and include court records, estate papers of deceased, records of property rights and tenure, amongst others. Currently the National Archives and Records Service is responsible for archives repositories and record centres in Pretoria, and Cape Town. The archival function of the repositories in Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Bloemfontein has already been devolved to their respective provincial legislatures.




National Library of South Africa
The collections contain a wealth of information, and include rare manuscripts, books published in South Africa, periodicals, government publications, official foreign publications, maps, technical reports, Africana and newspapers. The Cape Town section was the South African Library, the centre for preservation, which houses numerous collections of special interest.

The Killie Campbell Africana Library
The main subject areas are the socio-economic, political and cultural history of KwaZulu-Natal with special emphasis on early exploration and travel in Africa, and the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer Wars. The James Stuart Collection of interviews with Zulu-speaking informants were conducted in the early 20th century. The Colenso papers of Bishop JW Colenso, The Evelyn Wood papers, The Black Sash records and the Papers of Bishop Alphaeus Zulu are also highlights of this library. Situated in Durban.

Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives
This collection is an archive for the papers and documents of individuals and organisations involved in the struggle against apartheid in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The original collection was that of Alan Paton, world renowned author of "Cry the Beloved Country .Situated on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Kwa-Zulu/Natal.

The Don Africana Library
This Library, forms part of the eThekwini( Durban) Library Service . The nucleus of the Library is the Africana Collection of David Don, which includes works dating back to the 16th century. The library caters for a wide range of interests – not only historical – and contains a working collection of great scope to meet the information needs of the general public.

William Cullen Library
This Africana collection is particularly rich in the publications reflecting missionary activities in the 19th century southern Africa, the development of British interest in Africa and colonization, and the decolonization/independence experience of the continent. There is an Early Map collection. Situated at the University of the Witwatersrand. Situated at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Harold Strange Library of African Studies
Situated at the Central Library , Johannesburg. Primarily a collection of printed material, it does however, have an interesting and significant archival collection Areas of specialization include: History of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand; languages and literatures of Southern Africa; Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902; theatre in Johannesburg; Historical buildings of Johannesburg; Southern African shipwrecks; and political parties in South Africa.

Liberation Movement Archives
In 1992 the University of Fort Hare was declared custodian to an immensely valuable collection of records and artifacts relating to the fight against apartheid. The signatories to this agreement were the African National Congress (ANC), Pan African Congress (PAC), Azanian Peoples' Organisation (AZAPO), Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA) and the New Unity Movement (NUM).

Howard Pim Library of Rare Books
The Alice Campus Library of the University of Fort Hare houses the Howard Pim Library of Rare Books on the lower ground floor. The collection consists of a number of rare books and concentrates in the fields of South African and African history and education.

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Last Modified: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:00:21 SAST