Directory entries of
Archival Repositories 1999


Address: Street: 187 Fox Street, Johannesburg, 2000
Postal: Group Communications, ABSA Group, P.O. Box 7735, Johannesburg, 2000
Telephone: (011) 350-4167
Fax: (011) 350-4964
Enquiries to: Consultant, Group Heritage (Dr PHR Snyman)
Hours of opening: Not yet determined
Access: Closed. Policy still to be determined. Requests by bona fide students/ researchers would be considered, however.

Brief history: An archives for the ABSA Group was scheduled to open in June 1998. Prior to amalgamations of 1991-1992 (to create the ABSA Group) archival material was kept on a limited scale at Volkskas Museum in Pretoria and United Museum at Gold Reef City.

Acquisitions policy: To be determined. Broadly: All relevant archival material relating to the history of the ABSA Group and its predecessors.

Areas of specialisation: Banking and business history. History of the ABSA Group and its predecessors. Numismatics.

Core holdings: Records of: ABSA Group and ABSA Bank Ltd. (1991-). Former Volkskas Group and its subsidiaries (1934-). Former UBS Holdings Ltd. and its forerunners such as United Building Society (1889-). Former Allied Group Ltd. and its predecessors (1888-). Former Bankorp Holdings Ltd. and its forerunners and subsidiaries (including Santam Bank, SAS Bank, Trust Bank and Bankfin) (1918-). Records include minute books, financial records, correspondence, circulars, annual reports, staff magazines and photographs of persons, buildings and events.

Finding aids: To be compiled - currently none. 

National register participation: Not yet.


Address: Street: SAIMR, cnr Hospital and De Korte Streets, Hillbrow, Johannesburg, 2000
Postal: P.O. Box 1038, Johannesburg, 2000
Telephone: (011) 489-9480
Fax: (011) 489-9001
Website: *
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: 9h00-16h00
Access: Accessible to researchers on request.

Brief history: Founded by Drs Cyril and Esther Adler in 1962. Functions as part of the Faculty of Health Services, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Acquisitions policy: Only archival material of medical interest accepted.

Areas of specialisation: Medical history of South Africa.

Core holdings: Undefined at this stage as they are not listed.

Finding aids: No finding aids available.

National register participation: Not at this stage.


Address: Street: 63-65 Dutoitspan Road, Kimberley
Postal: P.O. Box 627, Kimberley, 8300
Telephone: 053 8306247
Fax: 053 8331005
Website: *
Enquiries to: The Africana Librarian
Hours of opening:   Weeksdays only 08h00-12h45 and 13h30-16h30
Access: No restrictions.

Brief history: The building of the Kimberley Public Library was opened on 23 July 1887 and vacated by the Public Library in 1984. The building was later restored and inaugurated on 30 March 1986 as an Africana Library to cater specifically for researchers. In February 1990 the building was declared a National Monument.

Acquisitions policy: Any written material about the history of the Diamond Fields and mining, Kimberley and the Northern Cape is acquired within our very limited budget. We also welcome donations of any kind.

Areas of specialisation: History of the Diamond Fields, Kimberley and the Northern Cape. We do hold a good collection of Anglo-Boer War material as well.

Core holdings: 14 000 Africana Books, which include black languages like Tswana, San, Zulu, Xhosa etc. Early Cape and early Afrikaans printed books. Early travel and missionaries, Kimberley chronological, Directories and Voters' Lists, geological and archaeological. Local newspapers from 1870, when diamonds were discovered, until present. A Special Collection of more than 2 000 books which include 4 incunabula dated 1475, 1476, 1477 and 1493 (Schedel's Nuremburg Chronicle). This collection also consists of a fine collection of art books, especially the Old Masters and English Literature. 12 000 Photographs depicting the Diamond Fields and its people, mining and the Siege of Kimberley. 640 Manuscripts, dealing with Siege of Kimberley diaries, discovery of diamonds etc. Ephemera like pamphlets, programs, invitation cards, medals, coins etc. SA and Kimberley maps.

Finding aids: Two alphabetical card indexes according to surname and subject. Index to news items on computer (old newspapers still in the process of being indexed), INMAGIC program. Indexes to NAREF and NAREM national registers. Africana and Special Collections are on INMAGIC computer program. Kimberley and Northern Cape pamphlets and newspaper cuttings filed according to subject. Other pamphlets and newspaper cuttings filed according to Dewey decimal classification system.

National register participation: NAREM and NAREF. Also participate in SABIB, and SABINET. We are a non-lending library, therefore our material is for use in the library only. Our INMAGIC computer program is not linked to any on-line retrieval database.


Address: Street: University of Fort Hare Library, Private Bag X1322, Alice, 5700
ANC Head Office
Street: 51 Plein Street
P.O. Box 61884, Marshalltown, 2107, Johannesburg
Telephone: (04060) 2-2275/
(011) 330-7391/7
Fax: (04065) 3-1423/
(011) 330-7242
Enquiries to: Archivist: P.M. Maamoe
University of Fort Hare
Hours of opening: 08h30-13h00, 14h00-17h00
Access: All collections available for research at the University of Fort Hare. Restrictions on certain collections available in Johannesburg and at Fort Hare.

Brief history: The University of Fort Hare was officially designated as the repository of the ANC Archives in 1992 by Pres. Mandela. The archive was opened to the public in 1996. The Archive Project is co-ordinated by the Archives Department which is based at the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg. All collections are sorted at the headquarters before being transferred to Fort Hare for final proccessing and public access.

Acquisitions policy: Items are acquired by donation and by transfer from ANC offices and missions abroad.

Areas of specialisation: History of the ANC. History of the freedom struggle in South Africa. Role of certain individuals within the struggle. Nelson Mandela.

Core holdings: Official records of the 33 foreign offices that the ANC operated abroad in the exile period. Non-current departmental records of the ANC. Official ANC publications. Private collections such as: The Nelson Mandela Collection, the Frene Ginwala Collection, the Walter Sisulu Collection, the Oliver Tambo Collection. Records of the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College. Nelson Mandela Photographic Collection. ANC Photographic Collection. ANC Poster Collection.

Finding aids: Finding aids available on request.

National register participation: No.


Address: Street: 11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl, 7646
P.O. Box 498, Paarl, 7620
Telephone: (021) 872 3441
Fax: (021) 872-3642
E-mail: General enquiries:
Administrative enquiries:
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: Mon-Fri 9h00-13h00, 14h00-17h00
Access: No restrictions. The collection can not be removed from the museum.

Brief history: The museum opened to the public on 14 August 1975. Most of the collections were donated by the public except for two which were bought.

Acquisitions policy: Afrikaans language, founders of the language, prominent Afrikaans writers and poets.

Areas of specialisation: Early Afrikaans publications. The History of the Society of True Afrikaners.

Core holdings: The largest groups are the Nienaber and Bosman collections which cover early Afrikaans writers, publications and manuscripts. Another collection, the SG du Toit collection, which covers topics on religion is also one of the largest groups. Some significant groups are Di Afrikaanse Patriot (early Afrikaans newspaper) and Ons Klyntji (early Afrikaans magazine). The collections which are heavily consulted are the museum collection (donated by public) which consists of early Afrikaans publications and the History of the Society of True Afrikaners (STA).

Finding aids: Catalogue cards: Author/Title.

National register participation: No.


Address: Street: 109 Brooks Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria
Postal: P.O. Box 11488, Hatfield, 0028
Telephone: (012) 362-1390/1/2/3
Fax: (012) 362-2023
Enquiries to: The Archivist
Hours of opening: Mon-Fri 07h45-12h45
Access: Material has been categorised and partially inventorised, but nothing has been computerised or catalogued yet.

Brief history: It is a young church established June 1987. Most of the archival material is younger than seven years old. Strongroom and office facilities were acquired in 1994. The material comes from throughout South Africa and Namibia.

Acquisitions policy: Mainly by voluntary deposit according to decisions of synod meetings. Requests are continually directed to church councils, circuits and commissions of the synod. Awareness of preservation is cultivated by discussions, articles and letters in the church's official journal.

Areas of specialisation: Registers of practising members and baptisms, minutes of meetings; reports.

Core holdings: Items mentioned under areas of specialisation as well as: documentation relating to the establishment of the church; own publications for membership instruction (Sunday School/catechism); books for adults for Bible study and about topical subjects; church administrative matters; own church marriage registers.

Finding aids: Index cards.

National register participation: No.


Address: Street: University of Natal, 165 King Edward Avenue, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
Postal: University of Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209
Telephone: (0331) 260-5926
Fax: (0331) 260-5599
Website: *
Enquiries to: The Manuscript Librarian
Hours of opening: Mon-Fri 08h30-16h30
Access: Access restricted. Access is unrestricted except where requested by the donor in which case the time period is stated, e.g. 72 letters from Alan Paton to his wife Dorrie Paton 1940-1960, until 2001. Access in certain instances is with the permission of the donor. Researchers should preferably contact the Alan Paton Centre beforehand regarding the date they will be coming and their topic of research (e-mail, Fax, phone, letter). All researchers are required to complete a registration form giving name, postal address and/or e-mail address, Fax or phone number, name of department, topic and purpose of research, whether they are staff, students of a college or university or a member of the public. There is no access or entry charge.

Brief history: Shortly after the death of Alan Paton in 1988, his widow Anne Paton made available a large part of the contents of Paton's study for the establishment of a permanent memorial to him. Rich core donations of manuscripts included the Paton Archives, the papers of the South African Liberal party head office, Pietermaritzburg which had been forced to close its doors in 1968, and papers of the Midlands Region of the Black Sash and their Advice Offices, and the Detainees Aid Committee. To these were added, increasingly, private collections, the papers of non-governmental organisations in the region, and subregion, those of the Pietermaritzburg Local Government Forum, and material relating to the National Elections in 1994. In his address at the official opening of the Alan Paton Centre in 1989, the Principal of the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal, Professor Colin Webb, summed up the aims of the centre: "The intention is to build up, around the core donation, a study and research centre devoted to the literature and the politics of conflict and conciliation, two of the deepest concerns of Alan Paton's life. The collections reflect our developing history, and are part of the struggle for improved human relations in our country". The Alan Paton Centre is thus an archive with a library and a museum component. For several years (1992-1994) it was part of an education for democracy project, and since 1995 has been engaged in an Oral History Project "Recording the Anti-Apartheid struggle in KwaZulu-Natal". An Annual Alan Paton Lecture is held each September.

1998 saw the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Cry, the Beloved Country. Celebratory functions held by the Alan Paton Centre included a film festival, an Alan Paton Tour of Pietermaritzburg and an Alan Paton Essay Prize for schools in Southern Africa.

Acquisitions policy: Preamble: The Acquisitions Policy reflects the theme of the Alan Paton Centre which is "the study of the literature and politics of conflict and conciliation". The Acquisitions Policy seeks to promote improved human relations by: promoting the systematic collection and organisation of documents reflecting our developing history and the theme of the Alan Paton Centre; collecting documents of an essentially primary nature; promoting the acquisition of secondary material of an "exotic" nature bearing on the theme of the Alan Paton Centre e.g. The British Parliamentary Papers - making this rich resource for research and learning available to students and researchers; It provides for an Acquisitions Sub-Committee consisting of the Librarian, Manuscript Librarian and one member of the Alan Paton Centre Advisory Committee.

Areas of specialisation: Material relating to Alan Paton, including manuscripts and typescripts of unpublished works, short stories, addresses, diaries, correspondence with publishers, friends, fans, photographs and memorabilia. Material relating to the Liberal Party of South Africa e.g. minutes, correspondence, photographs, publications of committees, conferences, conventions. Material relating to Non-Governmental Organisations in the Anti-Apartheid struggle with particular reference to KwaZulu-Natal e.g. The Black Sash, Detainees Aid Committee, Five Freedoms Forum, End Conscription Campaign, Peace in Natal. Recording the experiences of people involved in the Anti-Apartheid struggle, 1948-1990, through the Alan Paton Centre's Oral History Project Recording the Anti-Apartheid struggle in KwaZulu-Natal.' Particular emphasis is placed on the KwaZulu Midlands area.

Core holdings: The largest collections, amongst the 120 currently documented, comprise the Alan Paton Archives and Library, the Liberal Party of South Africa collection, the papers of The Natal Midlands Region of the Black Sash and their Advice Offices, and the Peter Brown collection. They are amongst the most heavily consulted collections and the most significant which also includes the papers of Five Freedoms Forum and the interviews and transcriptions of the oral history project "Recording the Anti-Apartheid struggle in KwaZulu-Natal". The Alan Paton Archive 1903-1988: Contains: details of published works in chronological order including drafts, corrections, research notes, galley proofs, photographs, correspondence, articles, press cuttings, manuscripts (MSS) and typescripts of Paton verse (143 poems) and revisions, MSS of unpublished works 1923-1981 including novels, short stories, plays, articles, correspondence with publishers and agents 1951-1988, general correspondence 1960-1988, 72 letters Alan Paton to Dorrie Paton 1940-1960, diaries 1946-1977, nine diaries of Dorrie Paton 1954-1986, diaries and MSS of journeys 1954-1986, MSS and typescripts of short stories, essays, articles and addresses; last writings 19.02.88-31.03.88, tributes, letters of condolence, funeral and commemorative services after his death 12.04.88; articles, reviews, theses on Alan Paton and his works, cuttings, biographical data relating to the Paton family, books, memorabilia including furnishing of the Alan Paton Study. 1 200 files. PC1. Liberal Party of South Africa papers (LPSA) 1952-1968: The Liberal Party was formed in 1954, although other liberal groups had existed since 1952. It suffered from bannings and detentions in the mid 1960s and in 1968 dissolved itself rather than segregate in terms of the Prohibition of Political Interference Act. Some of its ex-members were active in the production of the periodical Reality 1971-1993. Contains: constitution of the LPSA, policy documents on civil rights, education, economics, foreign affairs, the franchise, health, housing, social welfare, land and agriculture, minutes of the party and its precursors, National Congress minutes, statements, Chairman's Report, financial records, National office statements, correspondence, publications, election materials, membership lists; Natal Congress 1960 - minutes, statements, papers and publications of the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape, Natal and Transkei provincial divisions; Press Digest 1953-1968, press cuttings. 860 files. PC2. The Natal Midlands Black Sash papers 1971-1995: The Black Sash was founded in 1955 under the name of the Women's Defence of the Constitution League in response to the National Party government's Senate Act and developed into a general women's human rights organisation. It was well known for its network of Advice Offices which assisted the victims of apartheid legislation and exploitation practices. The Natal Midlands branch continues to run an advice office although the executive committee and special interest sub-committees wound down in 1995. Contains: minutes of National Conference 1971-1994, the National Executive 1987-1993, Natal Midlands Executive and related committees 1986-1993, correspondence; Pietermaritzburg Advice Office minutes, reports 1979-1992, correspondence 1977-1992, Advice Office reports from other regions 1976-1992, visitors to Sash Offices, Advice Office case files 1986-1993; regional newsletters, Midlands Womens Coalition minutes, reports, campaigns 1993-1994, Network of Independent Monitors (NTM) Regional Forum minutes, report 1993-1994; Natal Midlands Education for Democracy Forum workshops 1993-1994; miscellaneous reports, published documents, scrapbooks 1971-1993. 1500 files. PC4. Peter Brown papers 1961-1994: Peter Brown was a founder member of the Liberal Party of South Africa whose aim was a non-racial democracy. National chairman in 1960, he was detained in that year and banned 1964-1974 from participating in political activity. He became editor of Reality: a journal of liberal and radical opinion after the lifting of his ban. An advocate of the redistribution of wealth and land, he has been committed to several organisations since 1974: Church Agricultural Project (CAP), the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) and Five Freedoms Forum (FFF). Contains: Church Agricultural Project (CAP) reports, memoranda, financial statements, Mdukatshani Farm Committee minutes and correspondence 1974-1983, Mdukatshani reports and newsletters 1975-1987, Zwane/Sithole tribal dispute 1979-1980, Reality minutes, correspondence, unpublished material 1970-1988; AFRA minutes 1979-1986, documents relating to the Consolidation Commission and forced removals, Dependants Conference of the South African Council of Churches 1984-1992; Personal and general correspondence 1961-1988; press cuttings, scrapbooks 1964-1993, Banning Orders 14.05.69 and 22.07.74, related correspondence, applications, permits, and opinions. 80 files. PC16.

Finding aids: Manuscript (MSS) collections, oral history project material and the Alan Paton Study library may be accessed through the computer of the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, and via terminals in the National Archives Repositories in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Bloemfontein. A guide to the collections of the Alan Paton Centre is currently being entered on the Alan Paton Centre's website on the WorldWideWeb. Similar information regarding the Oral History Project interviews will be made available shortly. Detailed descriptive lists are available for all the major collections at the Alan Paton Centre.

National register participation: The Alan Paton Centre contributes to NAREM, NAREF, NAROM and NAROS. It is not, at present, linked for on-line retrieval using these databases.


Address: Somerset Street, Grahamstown, 6139
Telephone: (046) 622-2312
Fax: (046) 622-2398
Enquiries to: The Director
Access: The archives are available to any bona fide researcher provided the details of name, address and field of research are supplied. The archives are viewed in the Bowker Library of the History Museum. The researcher is required to wear cotton gloves and only use pencil when handling the documents. Documents may not be removed and are photocopied by the Museum staff at a cost of 40c per page. For 50 pages or less the labour charge is R10. Any cheques should be made payable to the Director, Albany Museum.

Brief history: The Archives Collection dates back to the origins of the Albany Museum. The first document accessioned in the earliest History Museum accession register dates back to 1907. When the 1820 Settlers Memorial Museum opened in 1965, the Archives were accessioned separately under the prefix SMD. The emphasis of the archival collection has been documents relating to the 1820 Settlers but over the years Eastern Cape material has been added.

Acquisitions policy: The Acquisitions policy of the Archival Collection ties in with the Acquisitions policy of the History Museum, namely, to collect, preserve, store or display those items of material culture which reflect the history of the peoples of the Eastern Cape and especially, the local history of Grahamstown area.

Areas of specialisation: The Archives Collection has documents which relate to South African history but most of the collection concerns Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape from 1812 until the present. There is a small collection from the "apartheid" period.

Core holdings: The Archives Collection includes: Dr DL Smit and parliamentary records; diaries of Dr WG Atherstone; Dr John Hewitt papers; a collection of maps; estate papers originating from EP Guardian Co.; Settler diaries.

Finding aids: The access to the Archives can be done by request through a manual index of SM and SMD numbers. Catalogue of the NAREM entries has been printed.

National register participation: Some of the archives are available on NAREM. The Albany Museum has contributed to NAREM and NAREF but does not have on-line retrieval of these databases.


Address: Street: 97 Voortrekker Road, Potgietersrus, 0600
Postal: P.O. Box 34, Potgietersrus, 0600
Telephone: (015) 491-2244
Fax: (015) 491-2244 X 2222
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: Mon-Fri 07h30-16h00
Access: By appointment and under supervision.

Brief history: The collection consists mainly of objects collected by Mr Arend Dieperink. The collection has been housed in Potgietersrus since 1968 and the museum was affiliated with the Transvaal Provincial Administration in 1972.

Acquisitions policy: History of the town and vicinity. This includes the world renowned Makapansgat Valley.

Areas of specialisation: Pioneer history. Development of town.

Core holdings: The total collection comprises 15 000 objects. Almost 4 000 are books, documents and photographs.

Finding aids: Accession register and locality cards, which are manual finding aids.

National register participation: No.


Address: Street: 370 Nossob Street, Erasmuskloof Extension 4, Pretoria
Postal: Private Bag X337, Pretoria, 0001
Telephone: (012) 428-1911
Fax: (012) 428-5635
Website: *
Enquiries to: The Records Manager
Hours of opening: Will be arranged with approved researchers on an individual basis
Access: Open to bona fide and approved researchers who are in possession of the necessary security clearance. An application form must however be completed and submitted to the Records Manager in this regard.

Brief history: Was established in 1985 as part of Armscor's Historical and Archive Services Section which was at the time not subjected to the Archives Act of 1962, Act No. 6 as amended. The Armscor Archive has since its creation been developed and organised in accordance with the principles of modern archival practice and theory.

Acquisitions policy: All records created and received by Armscor in conducting its mandate and business in terms of the Armscor Act.

Areas of specialisation: History of South Africa's armaments acquisition, manufacturing and development from 1948 to date.

Core holdings: Correspondence files in respect of Armscor departments and projects. Minutes of top level Armscor meetings i.e. the Board of Directors, Top Management and the present Management Board. Documents of senior Armscor officials. Annual reports. Commission of inquiries. Research and study material. Publications. Photographic collection.

Finding aids: Unpublished inventories and lists. Electronic retrieval system.

National register participation: No.



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