South Africa: Libraries, Archives, & Publishers

  • ACA2K--Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright (2010)  -- Claremont, South Africa : Juta and Company Ltd.  ; Toronto, Canada : IDRC, 2010.
    • The open access, electronic book version of a 2010 final report. "[ACA2K] probing the relationship between national copyright environments and access to knowledge in African countries. This project, supported by Canada's IDRC and South Africa's Shuttleworth Foundation, and managed by the Wits University LINK Centre in Johannesburg, begun in October 2007 with legal researchers in five African countries (Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda) preparing initial 'environmental scans' of the copyright contexts in their countries."
  • African Digital Library In association with NetLibrary (Technikon South Africa Gold Fields Library and Information Centre, Florida, South Africa)
    Note: US libraries with NetLibrary subscriptions may also have access to this e-book collection.
    "[Established in 1999]...a collection of electronic books that can be accessed and used free-of-charge by any person living on the African continent [with registration]."
  • AFLIB-L: African Libraries Listserv (National Library of South Africa, Pretoria)
    A web page describing the purpose of the listserv and how to subscribe. "The African Libraries Listserve (Aflib-L) is a forum for African libraries and their colleagues who seek to overcome the professional isolation which presents one of the barriers to library development in Africa. It is an unmoderated discussion list."
  • African National Congress (South Africa)
    The ANC web site offers an extensive archive of online speeches, complete books, biographical summaries, photographs, and other documents by leading and historical figures from the ANC archives and from those in South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle in general, as well as selected speeches by prominent world leaders in support of the struggle.
  • Anti-Apartheid Movement: Forward to Freedom--The History of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1959-1994 (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, UK)
    A companion web site to the AAM archival collection held by the Bodleian Library at Oxford, featuring excerpts in text, image, and video formats. "...tells the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and its campaigns to support the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. The AAM also campaigned for freedom for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, and against South Africa’s attacks on its neighbours."
  • The Archival Platform (via Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
    "...a civil society initiative committed to deepening democracy through the use of memory and archives as dynamic public resources. Established under the auspices of the University of Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Foundation..."
    --See especially: In the Headlines -and- Resources
  • Books LIVE (Cape Town, South Africa)
    A general book news and events portal for South Africa and the wider world.
  • Catalogs and Home Pages of South African Libraries (via Columbia University Libraries)
  • Centre for Popular Memory, University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa)
    " oral history based, research, advocacy and archival centre...trains students and organizations in oral/visual history research, theory and forms of public representation; and runs a publicly accessible multi-lingual archive that contains over 3000 hours of audio and video."
  • DISA: Digital Innovation South Africa (University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa)
    • Originally called "Digital Imaging Project of South Africa": The site offers a free access to selected periodicals and other publications focusing on the socio-political history of South Africa, particularly the struggle for freedom during the period from 1950 to the first democratic elections in 1994.
    • "DISA: insights of an African model for digital library development" by Dale Peters and Michele Pickover (2001) D-Lib magazine. (Online) ; Vol. 7, no. 11 (November 2001).
    • Mayibuye: the journal of the African National Congress.  Archive, 1967-1994.  -- [Marshalltown, South Africa: ANC, 1967-1994]
    • The New African: the radical monthly.  Archive: 1962-1969.
      "...[first] published in January 1962. The four founders, Randolph Vigne, Neville Rubin, James Currey and Timothy Holmes wrote copiously - leaders, articles and reviews - often under pseudonyms The first subscribers to the periodical were drawn from the Liberal Party circle [in South Africa]. Contributors to those early issues were mostly South Africans, with a few from Britain and only three from elsewhere. The magazine’s character, largely English-speaking South African and liberal, was forward looking in the post- Sharpeville time of hope, and original in its commingling of culture and politics."
  • DISSAnet--Development of Information Science in South Africa (Pretoria, South Africa)
    The web site features general information about the project and an online library of DISSAnet, SCECSAL, and WWW application conference proceedings---downloadable in PDF format, and a bibliography of references.
  • Dissertations & Theses at South African Universities: Catalogs and Selected Electronic Full-Text
  • District Six Museum Online (Cape Town, South Africa)
    This site offers general information about the museum and its collections. "In 1989 ex-residents of District Six envisaged a museum to commemoratethe area and honour the people who fought against the forced removals and Group Areas Act. On 10 December 1994, the District Six Museum opened with its first exhibition 'Streets - Retracing the Past'. The Museum provides a space for the community to come together and share their experiences and retrace their memories."
  • The Ruth First Papers (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, UK)
    In partnership with the UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives and the Centro de Estudos Africanos, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique.
    "It will consist of at least 5,000 pages, digitised and presented as academically rigorous clusters of material, and will electronically publish two of her books currently out of print. This resource will be freely accessible worldwide, accompanied by a website with secondary material including conference items and short academic essays about First’s life and work."
  • Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre, University of KwaZulu-Natal at Westville, South Africa
    An extensive listing of holdings--the bulk of which is concerned with Indians (and other South Asians) in South African history, with some on Luthuli and other Africans...featuring online documents--including research papers, MA and Ph.D. theses, bibliographies; plus, related links.
  • Howard University: SARAP--South African Research and Archival Project (Washington, DC)
    The website includes the online guides to records on deposit at Howard University and to a small selection of collections in South Africa, such as those at the University of Fort Hare. "[In 2001...] This project began as an effort to identify, locate and describe documentation about the diasporic relationship between blacks in South Africa and the United States."
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions: 68th IFLA Council and General Conference, August 18-24, 2002, Glasgow, Scotland -- Excerpts in PDF Format (via l'Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique, France)
  • International Institute of Social History: The Netherlands against Apartheid 1948-1994 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    "In 2008 the IISH acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to anti-apartheid and Southern Africa. This rich collection includes materials on the Dutch anti-apartheid and solidarity movement, the struggle in Southern Africa and the international campaign against apartheid."
    --See also: Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa Collection Guide
  • ILAM--International Library of African Music, Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa)
    The site includes information about the library, research and teaching programs, related links, and publications--including: African music journal. (Online), 1954-2008. "Founded in 1954 by Hugh Tracey, ILAM is the greatest repository of African music in the world. A research institution devoted to the study of music and oral arts in Africa, it preserves thousands of historical recordings going back to 1929 and supports contemporary fieldwork."
    --Search the ILAM catalogs
  • 2019 Jozi Book Fair--"Literature and Newspapers", August 31-September 1, 2019, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa Co-sponsored by the National Library of South Africa and Bohlale ba Basebetsi, Khanya College--Education for Liberation.
  • Killie Campbell Africana Library, University of Kwa Zulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa)
  • LIASA: Library and Information Association of South Africa (Pretoria)
    General information on the organization, conferences, and other news and activities. "The launch (July 1997) marked the end of the process of the unification of all existing library organisations in South Africa ... initiated in January 1995 at the Conference on Libraries and Information Services in Developing South Africa ... an initiative of the two largest existing organisations at the time, the South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science and the African Library Association of South Africa."
  • Library Home Pages and Online Catalogs of South Africa (via Columbia University's "Library Catalogs of Western, Eastern, and Southern Africa.")
  • The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa)
    • "...inaugurated on 21 September 2004, and endorsed as the core work of the Foundation in 2006. The Centre focuses on three areas of work: the Life and Time of Nelson Mandela, Dialogue for Social Justice and Nelson Mandela International Day."
    • Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project
      This site features a photographic & video exhibition, as well as extensive selections from the digitized archive of Mandela's private papers.
      --See also: "My Moment with a Legend"
    • Nelson Mandela: 20 Years of Freedom
      An interactive web archive on Mandela's release from prison on February 11, 1990. "Users can explore archival documents, photographs as well as raw and edited news footage and other audio-visual material related to the release and the political events directly preceding and following it, much of which has not been seen by the public."
  • MapStudio (South Africa) (Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, South Africa)
  • The Mayibuye Center (Bellville, South Africa)
    Information about the center's programs, its staff, and its archival collections on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.
  • National Archives of South Africa (Pretoria)
    The site offers general information about the NASA and access to the various databases of the NAAIRS--National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System.
  • National Library of South Africa (Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa)
  • NiZA: Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa---Library, Informaton & Documentation Centre (2008) (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    • This ARCHIVED web site offers general information about NiZA, news summaries from Southern Africa, and NiZA publications based on research or conference proceedings. "NiZA is a politically independent organisation for the promotion of democracy in Southern Africa. It was founded in 1997 out of the merger of three anti-apartheid organisations: the Holland Committee on Southern Africa, the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Eduardo Mondlane Foundation. ...Power in the region is becoming more and more centralised, violence and poverty are on the increase, and AIDS is spreading. Joining with those who actively seek solutions to these problems, NiZA now expresses its commitment through a new form of solidarity."
    • For more recent information about the collections, see: International Institute of Social History above
  • Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, Sweden)
    The web site features general information about various projects, conference reports, and a searchable catalog of the archives on southern Africa held in Scandinavia.
  • Open Book Festival, September 5-9, 2017, Cape Town, South Africa
    " The Fugard Theatre is an annual literary festival, the first of which happened in 2011.
  • PictureNet Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa)
    A commercial respository of photographs from photographic agencies in South Africa, with information on fees and permissions.
  • Publishers' Association of South Africa (PASA) Home Page (South Africa)
    The site offers general information about PASA, links to book fairs, a directory of South African publishers, etc.
  • Rhodes University Library (Grahamstown, South Africa)
    • RU Library Home Page
    • The Cory Library
      • "The Library's archival holdings are particularly strong in the fields of Southern African history, including Xhosa history, mission and church history, the history of education and mining, commercial and agricultural history. It has a strong collection of material on Lesotho. Since the initial deposit of Sir George Cory's collections there has been a particular focus on the history of the Eastern Cape, and on Grahamstown itself."
      • Lovedale Press Collection
        Includes manuscripts and published works of Black authors including AC Jordan, HIE Dhlomo, DDT Jabavu, JJR Jolobe, SEK Mqhayi, HM Ndawo, AZ Ngani, ST Plaatje, GB Sinxo, TB Soga, and Victoria Swaartbooi; plus: tonic sol-fa and staff notation scores of such composers as MM Moerane, RT Caluza, E Sontoga, EAJ Monaisa, and B Tyamzashe.
    • Electronic Theses and Dissertations Initiative
      Hundreds of Masters' and Ph.D. theses --mostly in the sciences and social sciences-- are available in full text, PDF format.
  • SciELO--Scientific Electronic Library Online (Pretoria, South Africa)
    "...South Africa’s premier open-access (free to access and free to publish) searchable full-text journal database in service of the South African research community. The database covers a selected collection of peer-reviewed South African scholarly journals and forms an integral part of the SciELO Brazil project."
    --See: Alphabetical list of journal titles
  • SEALS Digital Commons (Southeast Academic Libraries System, South Africa)
    A consortium of academic libraries in South Africa, providing central access to digital special collections: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University ; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: Archives and Exhibition Centre ; Rhodes University Archives ; Rhodes University Digital Commons ; Rhodes University: Cory Library ; Rhodes University: International Library of African Music (ILAM) ; Rhodes University: Margaret Smith Library ; University of Fort Hare Institutional Repository ; University of Fort Hare: National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre ; and, Walter Sisulu University.
  • Soul beat. (Online) -- Braamfontein, South Africa: Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication, in partnership with SANGONeT; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: The Communication Initiative, 2003-
    The Soul Beat Africa website offers the current bi-weekly issue of the newsletter and the archive of all previous issues. "...for communicators, practitioners, media makers, academics, researchers and others who are using communication for change in Africa."
  • South African Audio Archive (, South Africa)
    "...a visual archive of rare and sometimes unusual South African audio documents as artifacts. The aim of the project is to provide a searchable database as a resource for those researching South African audio history."
    --See also, two "sister projects", the blog sites: flatint -and- Electric Jive
  • The South African History Archive (SAHA) (Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa)
    SAHA was formed in 1988 by the United Democratic Front and the Congress of South African Trade Unions to collect & preserve documents from the struggle against apartheid during the 1980s. The SAHA website offers online finding aids to their collections, descriptions of archival projects, highlights from public exhibitions and related events, online publications (free downloads with registration), teacher and other educational resources, and several "virtual exhibiitions":
  • Truth Commission Special Report (South African Broadcasting Corporation, in collaboration with The South African History Archive, Johannesburg, South Africa)
    This web site offers free access to the 87 episodes of this SABC TV news series; plus a digital document archive on the TRC, including transcripts from hearings and workshops. "Broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation every week between 21 April 1996 and 29 March 1998, the 87-part 'Truth Commission Special Report' television series offers invaluable insights into the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission during this period."
  • University of Cape Town: Open UCT -- Research Commons (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • University of Cape Town Libraries, Special Collections -- Manuscripts & Archives (Cape Town, South Africa)
    "This department [at UCT] has an extensive collection of original research material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of the Western Cape. Subjects covered include art, music, education, literature and language, botany, politics and architecture." The web site includes online guides to the collections, see especially:
    -- Finding Aids
  • University of Fort Hare, Howard Pim Library (Alice, South Africa)
    • Established in 1918: "The valuable Africana collection ... houses rare books and unique collections such as the Steve Biko Letters, and the Lennox Papers. Significant landmarks in the growth of the Library include the reincorporation of the Federal Seminary Library into the main campus Library, as well as the integration of important liberation movement archives such as those of the African National Congress.
    • UFHL Home Page
    • Liberation Movement Archives: Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College Records; UFH Records; Personal records of Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Lionel Forman, and others.
    • See also: Guide to the microfilm of The Oliver Tambo Papers: A Collection of His Papers, 1960-1992, at the University of Fort Hare, ANC Archives.  ***held at The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA.
  • University of the Free State: Archive for Contemporary Affairs = Argief vir Eitydse Aangeleenthede (Bloemfontein, South Africa)
    "The Archive, previously called the Institute for Contemporary History, was established in 1970. ...It houses more than 900 private document collections. This includes the collections of South African politicians (Prime Ministers, State Presidents, Ministers), economists, church, cultural and community leaders, etc. The Archive also has a fully equipped Sound Archive at its disposal, for recording the memoirs of individuals."
    -- See also: UFS Library Home Page
  • University of Kwa Zulu-Natal: The Campbell Collections -- Guides to Collections and Catalogs (Durban, South Africa)
    The web site for various historic manuscript collections and libraries....including The Killie Campbell Africana Library.
  • University of South Africa Institutional Repository UnisaIR (Pretoria, South Africa)
  • University of the Western Cape -- Libraries (Bellville)
    -- Search the online catalog.

  • University of the Witwatersrand Library--Historical Papers Department (Johannesburg, South Africa)