Directory entries of
Archival Repositories




Address: Street and Postal: Central Johannesburg Library, Library Gardens, cnr Market and Fraser Streets, Johannesburg, 2001
Telephone: (011) 870-1227
Fax: (011) 836-6607
Enquiries to: The African Studies Librarian
Hours of opening: Monday-Friday 10h00-17h00,
Saturday 09h00-13h00
Access: Accessible to research workers and post-graduate students. (To under-graduate students at librarian’s discretion.)

Brief history: The Strange Collection originated in 1913 with the purchase, by the Johannesburg Public Library of Harold Strange’s Africana Collection. It was however, only made available to the public in 1935. In 1941 it became a separate department and the collection of material began in earnest. By 1960 it could boast one of the foremost Africana collection in the world. Primarily a collection of printed material, it does however, have an interesting and significant archival collection.

Acquisitions policy: All material is donated.

Areas of specialisation: 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. Political parties in South Africa.

Core holdings: South African Labour Party Archives. Herbert Baker and Fleming Ltd. letter books. African City Properties Trust Ltd. Wanderers Club. Rand Pioneers Association. Johannesburg Historical Buildings Project. Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust. Johannesburg Operatic and Dramatic Society. Literary manuscripts of South African writers, eg. Eugène Marais, Stephen Black, Olive Schreiner, CM van den Heever, Sarah Gertrude Millin. Cornish Association of the Transvaal. Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902, diaries. Percival Kirby Papers. Independent Cultural Association.

Finding aids: Card catalogues. Johannesburg Public Library Network on the URICA System. Typed inventories.

National register participation: Contributor to NAREM. Linked for on-line retrieval.



Address: Street: Arbuckle Street, Himeville
  Postal: PO Box 207, Himeville 3256
Telephone: (033) 702-1184
Fax: Only via Kwa Sani Council Office
  (033) 702-1060
Enquiries to: Curator
Hours of opening: Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 12h30
Closed Mondays or by special request
Access: Wide range of exhibits displayed. Limited range of documentation relating to persons and farms in area. Available on request.

Brief history: Museum situated in Last Laager built in South Africa in 1896. Building became a prison in 1902 run by Natal Mounted Police. Closed in 1972. Became a museum in 1976. Building now a National Monument.

Acquisitions policy: Museum collects artifacts, documents and memorablia related to the Underberg and Bulwer districts. Covers early settlements and bushman history; codes of rockart, bhaca artifacts, furnishings, utensils and implements. Histories of farms and anything to do with early settlement up to modern times.

Areas of specialisation: Anything relating to Underberg and Bulwer districts or close neighbouring areas of an historical nature.

Core holdings: House furnished in 1900 style; Trout fishing; Wildlife; fossils found locally; Old prison cell; Early pioneers and their farms; Old post office and Telephone exchange; Military, 2 world wars and boer war; General, clothing and household items cameras, medical and veterinary items and other items of general interest; Bhaca acourtrements and utensils; Bushmen and stone age artifacts, model cave and copies of rock art in Southern Drakensberg; School room; Farm implements, wagons etc.; Workshop and sawpit. The building is also an exhibit in itself, built of sandstone with loop holed walls etc.

Finding aids: Museum is a trust affiliated to Natal Museum. It is not computer orientated. Researchers are welcome but will have to attend the museum and locate information through our various registers maintained by the Local Historical Society.

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: Falls Drive, Howick, 3290
  Postal: P.O. Box 5, Howick, 3290
Telephone: (033) 230-6124
Fax: (033) 230-4183
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: Monday closed, Tuesday - Friday 9h00-12h00, 14h00-15h30, Saturday 9h00-12h00, Sunday 10h00-16h00
Access: Items not computerized but available to public during opening hours. If appointment made various papers can be photocopied at the municipality. The museum does not have a photocopier.

Brief history: Building built 1991, opened on 1 July 1992. Victorian style. Small lecture theatre at back for various activities.

Acquisitions policy: Only donated articles accepted. No temporary articles accepted unless on loan for at least 5 years.

Areas of specialisation: Local history. From very first inhabitants of the Umgeni Valley Iron Age to the present time.

Core holdings: Diaries of James Erasmus Methley. Howick Boer War display.

Finding aids: Each item accessioned. Visitors are provided with a guide to specific items of interest.

National register participation: NAREF. Linked for on-line retrieval.



Address: Street: Lambrechtstraat, Franschhoek
  Postal: PO Box 37, Franschhoek, 7690
Telephone: (021) 876-2532 or 876-2673
Fax: (021) 876-3649
Enquiries to: Museum Head
Hours of opening: Monday – Saturday: 09h00 – 17h00
Sunday: 14h00 – 17h00
Access: The Huguenot Memorial Museum is open to scholars, tourists, researchers and Huguenot descendants.

Brief history: The Huguenot Memorial Museum was proclaimed in 1960, but the main building was erected in 1967 after the style of the mansion, Saasveld, which had been situated in Kloof Street, Cape Town.

Acquisitions policy: The museum collects material that relates to the Huguenot history. Collections include Bibles, family histories, furniture, porcelain, photographs, paintings, etc.

Areas of specialisation: This museum specialises in the history of the Huguenots that came to the Cape in the 17th century and is well known for its Huguenot genealogy.

Core holdings: The museum’s research into Huguenot genealogy. Although a museum, we get an average of 5 inquiries per day re Huguenot genealogy.



Address: Street: Pinmill Farms, 164 Katherine Street
  Postal: Private Bag X10002, Sandton, 2146
Telephone: (011) 321 8475
Fax: (011) 448 2188
E-Mail:  or
Enquiries: The Senior Records Management Officer
Hours of opening: Monday – Friday: 08h00-13h00,
Access: The Archives/Records are located adjacent to the Library at Block D, Pinmill Farm, Sandton.

Brief history: The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is the regulator of telecommunications and the broadcasting sectors. It was established in July 2000 in terms of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act No.13 of 2000. It took over the functions of two previous regulators, the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). The two bodies were merged into ICASA to facilitate effective and seamless regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting and to accommodate the convergence of technologies. ICASA derives its mandate from four statutes. These are the ICASA Act of 2000, The Independent Broadcasting Act of 1993, the Broadcasting Act of 1999 and the Telecommunications Authority Act No. 103 of 1996.

The repository of the IBA was begun in 1996 upon appointment of a Records Manager. The organization itself began in March 1994, following the introduction of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act in 1993, and the repository houses records relating to the history of broadcasting policy development at the IBA up to final position papers; licence applications and conditions relating to broadcast licences issued and applied for in the categories of community and commercial/private radio and TV as well as general administrative records relating to the setting up and running of the Authority. The Authority regulates the telecommunications and broadcasting industries in the public interest. Its key functions are to make regulations and policies that govern broadcasting and telecommunications, issue licences to providers of telecommunication services and broadcasters, monitor the environment and enforce compliance with rules, regulations and policies, hear and decide on disputes and complaints brought by industry or members of the public against licensees, plan, control and manage the frequency spectrum and protect consumers from unfair business practices, poor quality services and harmful or inferior products.

Acquisitions policy: All records related to broadcasting in South Africa are received from internal departments, sorted, assessed and indexed and retained for reference where relevant. A disposal/retention authority exists and is applied to all records held in the repository. The National Archives have already identified those records which are of interest in terms of permanent archival preservation and these will be retained at ICASA for eventual transfer.

Areas of Specialisation: Broadcasting: This Department supports and facilitates the process of determining, drafting and evaluating broadcasting regulation in South Africa for which the Council of ICASA is responsible. It does so by conducting comparative research on foreign regulatory systems, identifying local broadcasting needs and international trends and developments, assessing the impact of technological convergence, examining the concentration of ownership of the media industry in South Africa and globally and facilitating the implementation of broadcasting policy and growth in the industry. It is responsible together with other departments within the broadcasting division for developing licence conditions; assessing licence applications; and determining and reviewing general broadcasting policies relating to public, private and community broadcasters, such as South African content quotas and cross media control regulations.

Telecommunications: The department‘s responsibility is to review the inter-corporate activities of telecommunications operators and their accounting practices; assess the rates, terms and conditions of tariffed services offered by the regulated operators, oversee the evolution of competition in the various segments of the telecommunications market and licence carriers and ensure compliance with licence conditions and carriage service rules.

Core Holdings: The core holdings of the ICASA’s repository are as follows: Licence applications for all categories of broadcast licences including community radio and TV, the SABC (here including applications for amendments to SABC’s licence), private radio and private TV. This constitutes the largest collection. The records relating to the monitoring of all broadcast licences with particular reference to monitoring of the Local Government Election coverage on radio and TV in 1995.

Telecommunication records include regulations for mobile operators, supplementary interconnection guidelines and ownership, control rules and tariff filings submitted by Telkom and mobile operators, legislation and telecommunications service conditions (i.e. payments of licence fees; delivery on universal service obligations, applications for telecommunications service licences, and compliance of licences against applicable regulations).

Frequency spectrum and radio monitoring records covered by the engineering and technology division include supporting and granting of frequency and station licences, certificates and authorization, the management and planning of access to radio frequency spectrum, frequency band plans, radio communications interfaces and assessments, adoptions and management of technical standards relating to customer equipments and other devices.

Law, communications consumer protection and council support records relate to legal advice on communications and administrative law. A wide array of statutes, regulations, assistance and recommendations in adjudicatory matters before the ICASA council, management of complaints lodged with council in terms of section 53 and 100 of the Telecommunications Act, monitoring of media to track industry development locally and internationally, media and stakeholder liaison, events and exhibitions, customer safeguards measure (i.e. customer service guarantee standards), the management of public education and awareness programs, secretariat support to council and its sub-committees, co-ordination of council’s public hearing schedule and co-operation and consultation with other regulators on international telecommunications matters.

Administration procurement and library services records relate to support functions to ICASA. They include internal policies, council meetings, financial, human resource management and development as well as information technology.

Finding aids: ICASA uses a classification manual, drawn up to identify/classify its functions and main business, and it is used in conjunction with a computerised/electronic database of all records held at ICASA, both manual records and electronic records. All records held are numbered and found on the database by using keywords used in the classification of each record.

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
  Postal: P.O. Box 61, Cape Town, 8000
Telephone: (021) 481-3800
Fax: (021) 481-3993
Enquiries to: The Librarian
Hours of opening: 08h30-16h30
Access: Research library for museum staff. Open to public. Reference only.

Brief history: The library is not an archival repository, but does have a photographic collection.

Acquisitions policy: The Library serves the information needs of the Museum’s research staff. As a member of the Southern African Interlending Scheme, information is disseminated to libraries throughout South Africa and neighbouring countries. Visitors are assisted by the librarians, but may not borrow items.

Areas of specialisation: Anthropology, Archaeology, Entomology, Marine Biology, Palaeontology, Geology and Zoology.

Core holdings: Aside from published works, the holdings include about 34 000 black and white photographic prints reflecting research done at the Museum. Some, especially the ethnographical prints, are of historical interest and include the so-called Dickman Collection and the Bleek Collection.

Finding aids: The photographic collection is partially listed and is being computerised.

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: 28 Harrison Street, Ground Floor, Johannesburg, 2001
  Postal: PO Box 11165, Marshalltown, 2107
Telephone: (011) 688-5037
Fax: (011) 834-5086
Enquiries to: The Librarian, JCI Ltd.
Hours of opening: By appointment only
Access: Visits by prior arrangement only.

Brief history: Company records dating back to 1889 were stored in a basement with no formal records being kept. In 1991 the Library staff were asked to re-organise and catalogue this collection. It was moved from the damp basement to a properly air conditioned area in another building. It is now in a retrievable form, but formal records are not yet complete.

Acquisitions policy: Not stated.

Areas of specialisation: History of Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co. Ltd. from 1889-1995 and the mining industry in general during that period. History of Johannesburg itself and of various suburbs.

Core holdings: Records comprise: Minute books, Annual Reports, Memorandum and Articles of Association, Maps, Photographs, Certificates, Correspondence - dating back to 1889. This collection is mostly consulted by authors, researchers, and occasionally staff members.

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: Klein Street, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, Gauteng
  Postal: P.O. Box 23561, Joubert Park, 2044, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Telephone: (011) 725-3130
Fax: (011) 720-6000
Enquiries to: Librarian
Hours of opening: Tuesday – Thursday, 10h00-16h00
Friday, 10h00 – 13h00
Access: Preferably by appointment with the librarian.
Restricted access to some material.

Brief history: The archive was begun in 1910 with the opening of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and serves as a repository for information on all the works in the collection of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the artists who created them as well as historical information pertaining to the Gallery from the opening until the present day.

Acquisitions policy: Although the Johannesburg Art Gallery was established as a museum of modern international art, the emphasis is now on South African art. In relation to international art, the Johannesburg Art Gallery collects primarily for educational purposes, to provide examples of major international art trends for the South African community. A large number of objects that have historical/aesthetic importance have left and continue to leave South Africa. The Johannesburg Art Gallery is committed to acquiring, preserving and repatiating southern African artworks in order to make them available to the South African community.

Areas of specialisation: The South African art collection is today the Gallery’s largest with archival material available on artists such as William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Jackson Hlungwani, JH Pierneef, Irma Stern, Maud Sumner etc. There is also archival material available on the Gallery’s other collections: 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, 18th and 19th century French and British artworks, paintings and sculpture by contemporary international artists, a print collection of more than 3000 pieces, including works by Rembrandt, Daumier, Whistler and Toulouse-Lautrec, an important collection of European lace and smaller collections of ceramics, textiles, fans and furniture.

Core holdings: Information on artists in the Johannesburg Art Gallery’s collection, the South African holdings being the largest. History of the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Information on contemporary South African Artists, including black artists. Files of the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA).

Finding aids: Bibliographic database (URICA) and card catalogues in the library as well as a register listing all of the Johannesburg Art Gallery holdings. Catalogues of some sections of the collection are also available.

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, 7600
  Postal: Private Bag X5036, Stellenbosch, 7599
Telephone: (021) 808-4398/808-4881
Fax: (021) 808-4336
Enquiries to: The Head, Special Collections
Hours of opening: Monday - Friday 08h00-16h30
Access: Bona fide students and researchers, including university staff and faculty members. The use of certain collections is subject to conditions laid down by donors; some collections are restricted.

Brief history: Established 1970 to house DF Malan and NP van Wyk Louw collections donated to the University of Stellenbosch, as well as other original documents and papers in the library’s possession. More than 320 collections have since been added, with most of these having strong ties with the Western Cape, and with the town and University of Stellenbosch.

Acquisitions policy: To acquire through donation original documents relating to the town and University of Stellenbosch, and the Western Cape, with a strong emphasis on Afrikaans literature, politics and the social and cultural history of the region, to support research needs of the staff and students of the University, and of post-graduate researchers from other centres, both locally and abroad. Acquisitions policy has been mostly passive, but selected potential donors whose collections will complement and enhance the present collections are being approached. Portfolios and documents of a few art students associated with the University are also collected.

Areas of specialisation: Afrikaans literature, South African politics, Cape politics and history, South African art, vernacular architecture, University of Stellenbosch history, family history of individual SA families, cultural organizations history.

Core holdings: South African politics and history (DF Malan, AC Cilliers, JD du P (Japie) Basson, PJ Cillié, PA Weber); Afrikaans language and literature (NP van Wyk Louw, WEG Louw, DJ Opperman, CJ Langenhoven, Uys Krige, Sheila Cussons, Lina Spies, Hennie Aucamp, ME Rothmann, Sarah Goldblatt); South African art (Maggie Laubser, Hugo Naudé sketchbooks, Sheila Cussons sketch books, Helmuth von Michaëlis, TO Honiball, Anton Kannemeyer, Conrad Botes and Otto Schröder); Missionary Societies (Bahr collection of Berlin MS, Rhenish Missionary Society, Heese family Berlin MS); South African vernacular art (James Walton); University of Stellenbosch (collections of all previous principals, Students’ Council, University choir, memorabilia and photographs); Family histories (Cillié, Malan, Neethling, De Villiers, Wicht, Thom).

Finding aids: Catalogues of major collections. Guide to accessions. Inventories. Indexes. Card catalogue for photographs.

National register participation: Contributes to NAREM. Linked for on-line retrieval.



Address: Street: 220 Marriott Road, Durban, 4001
Telephone: (031) 260-1720
Fax: (031) 209-1622
Enquiries to: The Director
Hours of opening: Monday - Friday 08h30-12h30 and
Saturday 09h00-12h00
(phone in advance as the library is sometimes closed for fumigation on Saturdays)
Visits to the Museums are by appointment only – for information please telephone (031) 207-3432/260-1722
Access: Library material, unless temporarily removed for cataloguing, binding or restoration, is available to researchers in the reading room of the Killie Campbell Africana Library.

Brief history: This library is named after Killie Campbell (1881 – 1965), a passionate bibliophile, who from an early age built up her valuable and unique collection of manuscripts, books, photographs, maps and government publications, covering a broad sweep of information about southern Africa, with particular emphasis on the KwaZulu Natal region. The collection, which was bequeathed to the University of Natal, is housed in the Campbell family home, Muckleneuck, where Killie Campbell lived from 1916 until her death. Muckleneuck also houses a museum, which contains the Mashu Museum of Ethnology, the William Campbell Furniture and Art collection and the Jo Thorpe Collection of Arts and Crafts. The entire complex is known as the Campbell collections of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Acquisitions policy: The acquisitions policy established by Killie Campbell has to a large extent been continued by the University of Natal, now the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The extension of the manuscripts collection is mainly through donation by interested members of the public or academic community. However if appropriate collections, particularly if they are relevant to KwaZulu-Natal, become available on the market the library purchases them if funds are available.

Areas of specialisation: The manuscripts collection is well known as an important source on the early history of contact between the Nguni-speaking people of the KwaZulu-Natal region and the British colonists. The ensuing interaction of the two societies, including the activities of peasant farmers, chiefs, traders, missionaries, colonial farmers and armies, is documented in various collections in the library. These include a variety of documents relating to two major nineteenth-century conflicts in the region, namely, the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the South African War (1899-1902). Other noteworthy collections include records of educational institutions, farmers’ associations, sporting bodies, various commercial undertakings and welfare and conservation organisations. Several collections reflect various facets of the political conflicts of the post-1948 era.

Core holdings: Examples of core holdings related to the areas of specialisation mentioned above include: The James Stuart Collection which contains verbatim records of interviews conducted in the early 20th century with a wide range of isiZulu speaking informants, reflecting their history, social lives and culture; the Colenso Papers containing correspondence and writings of Bishop JW Colenso and his family; The Evelyn Wood Papers, consisting of the letters of a prominent military figure in Britain’s colonial empire; the records of the Inanda Seminary, an important educational institution where many African women were educated. The EG Malherbe Collection is a useful source of information about the life, thought and activities of an educationalist who was best known as a former vice-chancellor of the University of Natal. His research included areas such as “Poor Whites”, educational theory and issues such as racism in education. The Black Sash Records give some insight into the work of this organisation’s coastal branch, including the activities of the advice offices. The records of the Oral History Project facilitated by the Killie Campbell Library between 1979 and 1982, provide information about the domestic lives, social, economic and political activities of a broad cross-section of mainly isiZulu-speaking people in the Durban functional region.

Finding aids: The manuscript collection is accessible by means of various finding aids. There is a card catalogue with basic information about each individual collection, which has been acquired by the library, whether the documents are sorted or not. An inventory is available for most collections that have been sorted, and all of the sorted collections are entered on the URICA computer catalogue, with subject-headings. Although still at an experimental stage, inventories of some of the collections have been transcribed in EAD (encoded archival description) format, and are available on the website of the Campbell Collections.

National register participation: Although preparatory investigations have been carried out to enable the collections to be included on the National Register of Manuscripts, the Killie Campbell Library is not yet linked to NAREM.



Address: Street: corner of Margaretha Prinsloo and Lombard Street, Pienaarsdorp, Klerksdorp
  Postal: P.O. Box 99, Klerksdorp, 2570
Telephone: (018) 462-3546
Fax: (018) 462-3981
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: Monday - Friday 10h00-13h00,
Saturday 09h00-12h00
Sunday and Public Holidays 14h00-17h00
Closed: Good Friday, 16 and 25 December
Access: By appointment.

Brief history: Part of museum collection since 1975.

Acquisitions policy: Only items related to North West Province.

Areas of specialisation: Cultural history of Klerksdorp

Core holdings: Documents regarding residents and events of this area. Photographs regarding residents and events of this area.

Finding aids: All material housed in Klerksdorp Museum are listed in the card catalogue

National register participation: No.



Address: Street: South African National Biodiversity Institute, Botanic Gardens Road, Durban, 4001
  Postal: PO Box 52099, Berea Road, 4007
Telephone: (031) 202-4095
Fax: (031) 202-3430
Enquiries to: The Curator
Hours of opening: Monday – Friday 07h45-12h45, 13h30-16h30
Access: Main collection open to researchers. Quick reference collection open to the public. Library collection open to the public, but it is not a lending library.

Brief history: The KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium was started in 1882 by John Medley Wood, then Curator of the Durban Botanic Gardens. It was initially known as the Colonial Herbarium but from 1910 known as Natal Herbarium. In 1910 it was donated by the Durban Botanical Society to the Union of South Africa. KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium now forms part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute which is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The herbarium collection now stands at ± 120 000 plant specimens.

Acquisitions policy: To acquire herbarium (plant) specimens from KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern region of South Africa and neighbouring areas, in particular from the many areas that have not been documented properly. To acquire books/literature that relate to the flora of our region.

Areas of specialisation: Flora of KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern region of South Africa. The focus is on the indigenous plants of our region in particular angiosperms, gymnosperms and pteridophytes. The KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium is also building up a collection of plants reflecting Zulu Botanical Knowledge.

Core holdings: Important herbarium collections of John Medley Wood, MS Evans, WT Gerrard and MJ Mcken, AGH Rudatis, HJ Thode, J Gerstner, JPH Acocks, RH Compton, RG Strey, CJ Ward, HB Nicholson, A Abbott and AM Ngwenya.

Finding aids: We are in the process of computerising the herbarium collection - ± 30% of the collection is computerised.

In addition, we are starting to become involved in the African Plants Initiative, a project that will eventually allow access to digital images of significant specimens of all African plant taxa, many original illustrations and much relevant literature, through the Internet. For more details, please visit  or

National register participation: No.



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