The registry contains information about a wide range of South African archival and memory institutions and organisations, and international collections that hold material related to Southern Africa.

Sorted by Date / Title

Voortrekker Monument and Heritage Foundation (Voortrekkermonument en Erfenisstigting)

The Heritage Foundation (Non-Profit Company) was founded in 2002 with the purpose of looking after endangered heritage objects, specifically those that the Afrikaans speaking people of the population consider of value.

The Heritage Foundation raised ±R13.8 million towards the construction of the Heritage Centre on the grounds of the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site, and also raised nearly R2.5 million for the Research Trust, to be awarded for relevant research.

Bafokeng Digital Archive

The Bafokeng Digital Archive is a comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible source of original materials related to the Bafokeng people of South Africa, past and present.

The active collection, recording and preservation of heritage, history and indigenous knowledge through community-based processes is central to the Bafokeng Digital Archive. This particularly includes the on-going collection of oral histories from Bafokeng community members. Oral history interviews are available as text, audio files and in some cases as video files.

Limpopo Provincial Archives and Records Management Services

The Limpopo Provincial Archives and Records Management Services is administered as a sub-programme of the Library and Information Services branch in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in Limpopo.

The Limpopo Archives inherited three repositories from the abovementioned former ‘homelands’:

  1. The Mopani Archives Repository in Giyani (Gazankulu),
  2. The Sekukhune Archives Repository in Lebowakgomo (Lebowa) and
  3. The Vhembe Archives Repository in Makwarela, Thohoyandou (Venda).

The Free State Provincial Archives and Records Service

The Free State Provincial Archives in Bloemfontein, is currently administered as a Directorate in the Chief Directorate of the Library and Archives Services Programme in the Free State Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Western Cape Archives ad Records Service (WCARS)

Until 2014 the Western Cape Archives ad Records Service (WCARS) administered as a sub-programme of the Archives and Library Services Directorate.The Western Cape Archives ad Records Service (WCARS) is administered as a directorate of the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.


Mtatha Archives Repository - Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape Archives are responsible for the records of the Eastern Cape Province, established in 1994. Eastern Cape repositories also house the records of the former Ciskei and Transkei ‘homelands’ as well as regional records held by the SAS in the Port Elizabeth Records Centre. Historical Records relating to the areas of the Eastern Cape that were, until 1994, under the former Cape Provincial Administration, are still held in the Western Cape Archives, pending the outcome of discussion about ‘repatriation.’

The Eastern Cape Archives inherited the Port Elizabeth Intermediate Depot of the former State Archives Service as well as the Ciskei Archives Repository in King William’s Town and the Transkei Archives Repository in Mtatha.

Eastern Cape Provincial Archives and Records Service

The Eastern Cape Archives and Records Service is administered as a sub-programme of the Library and Archive Services Programme in the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives

Forward to Freedom 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.

On this website you can find out how hundreds of thousands of people all over Britain took part in anti-apartheid activities. You can watch demonstrations and concerts, and hear from some of those involved.


Lutheran Theological Institute (LTI) Archives

The Lutheran Theological Institute (LTI) Archives is a unique collection of archivalia pertaining to its denominational history.

Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP)

The Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP) began in 2011. The project is based at the South African Jewish Museum.

The Jewish Digital Archive is collecting photography, film and oral history interviews for their archives for educational purposes such as academic research as well as for public genealogical interest.

The JDAP, previously housed at the Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town, can be compared to other broader archival initiatives at UCT for example: The Center for Popular Memory , The Michaelis Photographic Archives, and The University of Cape Town’s Library Manuscripts and Archives . However, The Jewish Digital Archive Project’s fundamental purpose is to connect members of the Jewish Community in Southern Africa.


Ridge Junior Primary School Archives and Records

Ridge Junior Primary School was founded in 1967 when the junior primary section became too big to remain part of Pelham Primary School. The school moved to the house of the Lawrence family in Ridge Road. Mrs M. Schoeman, the founding principal and a parent committee, decided on the name, colours and badge of the school. The current school building was built in 1969. Eleven years later Mrs R. Weideman was appointed as the second principal and a third wing of classrooms was built. Mrs M. van Niekerk became principal in 1986 and redesigned the school badge to include laurels and the motto “Semper ad optima” – We strive for the best. She also wrote the school song. The school celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1992. The media centre was opened in 1993.

Scottsville Primary School Archives and Records

Scottsville Primary School is a co-educational day school, extending from Grade RR to Grade 7. The school is divided into three main sections: Gardens Preprimary, Junior Primary and Senior Primary.

The Gardens Preprimary, Junior Primary and Senior Primary areas are colourful, exciting and stimulating environments for the small and growing children of the school.

Voortrekker High School Pietermaritzburg Archives and Records

Voortrekker High School is a public co-education Afrikaans medium High School situated in Cordwalles Road, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Voortrekker High School was founded in 1927 and is the oldest Afrikaans High School in KwaZulu-Natal. From January 1992, Voortrekker is the only Afrikaans medium school in Pietermaritzburg. It is rich in tradition with high standards in academics, sport and cultural activities.


Athlone Park Primary School Archives and Records

Athlone Park Primary School opened in 1970 to cater for the growing Athlone Park community. One hundred and eighty-one pupils joined the principal, Mr Charles Whitfield, his deputy, Mr Keith Collier, 7 teachers and 2 cleaners on the first day of school, January 20 1970.  Mr Whitfield served until his death in 1973 and was succeeded by Mr Keith Collier, who stayed until his retirement in June 1987.  The present principal, Mr Geoff Grenfell, then took up the position.


Pelham Senior Primary School Archives and Records

The school that was destined to become Pelham Senior Primary School was originally advertised as the Christie Road School — Christieweg Skool. It was scheduled to open on the 25th January 1956. The principal appointed was Mr. G.H. Scott.

Cowan House Co-Educational Preparatory School Archives and Records

Cowan House was founded, as a private venture, in 1948, by David and Joy Black in Mountain Rise, Pietermaritzburg. It was a boys only school. The number of pupils grew to up to 12 by the end of its first year, to 36 in 1948, and by the end of 1950 enrolment had increased to nearly 50. When the area was rezoned, the school purchased a 10 acre property in Hilton, and reopened in 1965.

Tombouctou Manuscripts Project

The Tombouctou Manuscripts Project, first conceptualised in 2002, was officially established in 2003 to research and document manuscript tradition in Africa.

Over the past seven years a Project team has been involved in the study of manuscript tradition in Africa, including manuscript translation, digitalisation and historical studies of book and library traditions.


Forum for School Museums and Archives (KwaZulu-Natal)

The Forum for School Museums and Archives was started in 2010. It meets once a term to discuss matters of mutual concern. Regular training workshops are held. At present there are 11 members.

King's School Archives (Nottingham Road KwaZulu-Natal)

King’s School is an independent, co-educational, primary school for boarders and day scholars situated in Nottingham Road (60km west of Pietermaritzburg), Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. For over 90 years, King’s School has provided an education that ignites curiosity, inspires creativity, fosters compassion and inculcates the values that make community possible.

Linpark High School Archives Pietermaritzburg

Linpark High School is a co-ed school for boys and girls from grade 8 to grade 12. It is the only school offering three campuses in one. They accommodate divisions of commerce, technology and academics, providing a holistic education equipping our learners with skills necessary to cope in the “real world”.

Howick High School Archives

Howick High School is situated in the picturesque village of Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands just 20 minutes drive from Pietermaritzburg. The school overlooks Midmar Dam with large scenic grounds that include most out-door sport facilities. Howick High is an English-medium, co-educational school and was established in 1967.

Merchiston Prep School Archives (Pietermaritzburg)

Merchiston Preparatory School, established in 1892, caters for Day Boys from Grades RR to 7 and accommodates Boarders from Grades 3 to 7. Merchiston is steeped in tradition and embraces all the good that the past offered and also seeks to be a forerunner in what the future holds.

The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album is the only surviving visual evidence of the process leading to the mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier.

Catholic History Bureau

The Catholic History Bureau attached to St Charles Church in Victory Park is a remarkable archive. It contains old books, newspapers, brochures, photographs and more related to the Catholic Church in South Africa.

University of Stanford: African Map Collection

Stanford’s Maps of Africa Collection became a major research resource in August of 2001 with the acquisition of the Oscar I. Norwich Collection of Maps of Africa and its islands, 1486 – ca. 1900. This acquisition added 316 maps to Stanford’s existing holdings of Maps of Africa.

South African Police Service Museum and Archives

The South African Police Service Museum and Archives was officially opened on September 23 1968.  Exhibitions are divided into those dealing with crime and another with cultural history.  The crime section includes notorious cases including that of Daisy De Melker, who poisoned her victims.  There is also a section on political crimes such as Steve Biko’s murder and the events at Sharpeville.  The evils of the drug trade and child abuse are depicted.  The cultural history section depicts the history of the police from 1913 onwards.

South African Rock Art Digital Archive (SARADA)

The South African Rock Art Digital Archive (SARADA) is a Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) initiative launched in aim to preserve the institute’s substantial collection of historical documents, photographs, redrawings and slides through digitisation.

ABSA Money Museum

The is home to the most complete collection of South African numismatic items in the world. It is situated in the stylish Absa Towers West building in the heart of the cultural metropolis that is the Johannesburg CBD.

International Mission Photography Archive (IMPA)

The International Mission Photography Archive offers historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections in Britain, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United States. The photographs, which range in time from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, offer a visual record of missionary activities and experiences in Africa, China, Madagascar, India, Papua-New Guinea, and the Caribbean.

Internet Archive (IA)

The Internet Archive (IA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes: texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.

Moving Image Archive

The goal of the Moving Image Archive in digitizing these movies and putting them online is to provide easy access to a rich and fascinating core collection of archival films.

By providing near-unrestricted access to these films, they hope to encourage widespread use of moving images in new contexts by people who might not have used them before.

TANAP Digital Archives

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is the legal entity that is accountable for the TANAP Programme. NWO manages also the finances and provide administrative support. A steering committee and a programme committee monitor the programme.

Siyayinqoba - Beat It! AIDS Archives

Siyayinqoba Beat It! provides reliable, scientifically based information to people living with HIV/AIDS, our partners, family, friends, care-givers and health workers.

Bailey's African History Archives (BAHA)

The Bailey’s African History Archives (BAHA) holds 40 years of material from all the editions of Drum Magazine and its various sister publications - Golden City Post, Trust, True Love and City Press. The Archives contains a wealth of information from politics to culture and complexities of the vast Anglophone African nations


South African Data Archive (SADA)

The South African Data Archive (SADA) was established in 1993 when the director of the Danish Data Archive (DDA) was invited to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) as a consultant to undertake a feasibility study on the viability of establishing a data archive in South Africa. SADA has since been incorporated into the National Research Foundation (NRF) which was established in April 1999 by the National Research Foundation Act.

Sanlam Archives

The Sanlam archive was established in 1977 with relevant historical documents of Sanlam, now housing 300 linear metres of documents produced by the firm and filials. The archives also houses a museum section of pictures, books, trophies, machinery and computer parts.

SABC Sound / Radio Archive

In the SABC Sound / Radio Archives, broadcasting material of cultural and historical value is preserved, ensuring an audio image of South Africa for future generations.

Pilgrim's Rest Museum Archive

The Pilgrim’s Rest Museum Archive is the old TGME (Mining) Archive when Pilgrim’s Rest, and the museum took over the archive in 1976.

Old Mutual Archive

The archive was founded in 1987 for the purpose of keeping documents pertaining to Old Mutual’s business which would be of use in the future planning as well as of interest historically.

Moravian Church Archives, SA

The preservation of records was consciously started at the turn of the 18th century when Superintendent Hennig (1891 – 1903) of the Moravian Mission Society in South Africa started to sort and arrange the various records and preserved them in two specially made yellow wood “kists”. This was continued by a residential minister, L.R. Schmidt, at Genadendal from 1930 until his retirement in 1948. The collection included well kept diaries, maps, correspondence and other evidential records and manuscripts. The two “kists” with its valuable treasure was buried in the garden of the manse during the Anglo-Boer (South African) war.

In 1965 a fireproof strong room was erected in the “office block” on the “werf” of Genadendal. The Archives were transferred to the strong room and arranged according to accepted archival principles at that time. In 1979 the Moravian Theological Centre was erected in Heideveld, Cape Town, which included a fireproof srong room to house the Moravian archives.

Then in 1981, the archives was transferred to the strong room in Cape Town. The Moravian Archives was never professionally arranged and the holdings became a bit congested. The archives for the period 1949 – 1998 are in the process of being professionally arranged and described.

The Moravian Archives has a differential usership with a sporadic pattern. Researchers, Academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students of tertiary institutions such as the University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, University Stellenbosch, UNISA and Technikons around Cape Town make use of the Moravian records. The secondary group are mostly people building family trees or people who want to ascertain the correctness of their day of birth.

Michaelhouse Archives

The school, Michaelhouse,  has been in operation since 1896, where it opened in Pietermaritzburg and later in 1901, it moved to its present site at Balgowan. The archives were given a room at the school in the 1980’s and have had a part-time archivist ever since.

Although some of the earlier records have been lost, the Michaelhouse Archives does keep a full set of Board Minutes, a full set of school magazines [previously known as the St Michael’s Chronicle, now known as the Michaelhouse Chronicle]. Other information such as school calendars, lists, publications, boys records, photographs and minutes of meetings are kept.

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA): Archive

GALA is a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) culture and education in Africa. Our mission is, first and foremost, to act as a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the history, culture and contemporary experiences of LGBTI people.

First National Bank (FNB) Archives

Up to 31 May 1997 the archives formed part of the First National Bank Museum, which was established in 1979 to, inter alia, identify, document, research and bring to the public the important historical documents accumulated by the Bank. The Museum was closed to the public on 31 May 1997 and the archives now exist as a single entity.

Dutch Reformed Church Archives (NG Kerkargief)

The most comprehensive archival repository for the Dutch Reformed Church can be found at the Church Archives (Kerkargief) in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Dutch Reformed Church of Natal (NG Kerk Natal): Synodal Archives

The Archive has been an integral part of the administration of the Church since 1836. Core holdings includes an extensive repository of records, minutes, documents, membership registers of congregations, committees and institutions of the Dutch Reformed Church since the Voortrekkers entered Natal in 1836.

Dutch Reformed Church of Africa Archives Repository (Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk v Afrika)

Prof. Dr. S.P. Engelbrecht as first archivist of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk since 1924, gained permission in that year from the then Minister of Interior Affairs Dr. D.F. Malan to conserve the records. In 1957 he became full time archivist. In 1959 the Dirk van der Hoff building was built to accommodate the archives of church offices. In the 1950’s he moved his Collection to the church, containing the core of all the records. In 1954 Prof. Engelbrecht retired and Dr. H.M. Rex became head of the archives. Since 1981 Mr. F.S. van Rensburg heads the archives.

Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS)

The Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS), at the Stellenbosch University Music Library, has its origins in the work and interests of staff and students at the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University. Due to the efforts of Dr. Stephanus Muller, and funding provided by the Stellenbosch University and external donors, DOMUS was formally established in August 2005, and has ever since been able to start processing an already existing body of collections, donated to the Stellenbosch University Music Library and Department.

Documentation Centre (Department of Defence Force Archives)

The Department of Defence Archives (DOD Archives) was established as the SA Defence Force Archives on 14 May 1968 following the approval by the Minister of Education of a separate military archives. Prior to this date an organisation for the preservation of the archives of the SA Defence Force did exist but it had no legal status. Presently the DOD Archives is part of the Documentation Centre.

Department of Foreign Affairs Archive

The archives at the Department of Foreign Affairs houses biographies of, and other materials relating to, all our diplomats from 1910-1997.

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Archives

The CSIR Archives maintain the central collection of CSIR documents, corporate publications and audiovisual material (photo’s, slides & videos) with historical value. The first archivist was appointed at the CSIR in January 1970, but the historical documentation had been kept since the establishment of the CSIR in 1945 in the Registry Department.

Barlow World Limited Archives

The Barlow World Limited Archives was established by Rand Mines Limited in 1963 to assist the author of the company’s 75th anniversary book. When Barlows acquired Rand Mines in June 1971 it was decided to establish an archives department on a proper footing and appoint an archivist, i.e. Maryna Fraser, who assumed the position in 1973.

Armaments Corporation of South Africa Limited (Armscor): Archive

The Amscor Archive 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.

Archive of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (Argiewe vd Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika)

The Archives attempts as far as possible to collect, arrange and preserve all documents written or received by the Reformed Church in the course of its existence. See also areas of specialisation.

Archives of the Archdiocese of Durban

The Archives of the Archdiocese of Durban archival collection contains papers and ecclesiastical records going back to the foundation of the diocese in 1852. Its purpose is to preserve the documents and make them readily available to the archbishop in office at the time and his officials.

Afrikaans Protestant Church Archives (Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk)

The archives of the Afrikaans Protestant Church include the 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.

ANC Archives

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.

ABSA Group Archives

The Absa Group Archives focuses on banking and business history; history of the Absa Group and its predecessors and numismatics.

National Archives Repository (Public Records of Central Government since 1910) [SAB]

According to the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (No. 43 of 1996 as amended) all central government offices are expected to transfer their archival records which have been in existence for 20 years to the National Archives Repository. A policy regarding the acquisition of non-public records is being drawn up. It will be designed to fill the gaps in official memory and to redress the imbalances of the previous collecting activities.

Records of central government, provincial government (Gauteng and former Transvaal), commissions of inquiry and transitional government processes. Official publications, library material on archival science and history, cartographic material and photographs. Non-public records received as donations.

Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository [NAB] - Pietermaritzburg

The first records were assembled under the part-time care of a government official in the early 1900’s. Accommodation was provided in 1936 on the present site. The repository was originally known as the Natal Archives Depot and was responsible for the custody of all official records in the province. After the establishment of a repository in Durban, responsibility for that region was assumed by the Durban office and records relevant to it (excluding the colonial period) were transferred to that office.

Durban Archives Repository [TBD] - Durban, KZN

Durban Archives Repository was established in 1990 as an Intermediate Depot and is now a fully fledged Archives Repository. The DAR serves Durban and the Coastal Region as follows: the North Coast east of the N2 from Sodwana Bay to Empangeni, and the coastal region between KwaZulu and the sea from Empangeni through Eshowe to and including Durban. The division between the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas along the N3 is at Cato Ridge, which is included in the Pietermaritzburg region. South of Durban, the DAR covers the area between KwaZulu and the sea down to Port Edward.

Cape Town Archives Repository

In 1876 the Cape government appointed a commission whose most important task was to collect, examine, classify and index the archives of the Colony. In 1879 Dr George McCall Theal was charged with the part-time supervision over the archives. In January 1881 he was succeeded by the Rev HCV Leibbrandt. All colonial archives dating before 1806 were transferred to the Government Public Library.

From 1886 the archives were housed in fireproof rooms in the basement of the Parliament. Leibbrandt devoted much of his time to the binding of documents and the publication of his well-known Précis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope. In 1908 Leibbrandt retired and his post was not refilled. In 1909 a commission was appointed “to have the custody on behalf of the Colonial Government of the Archives”. Two officials were appointed to arrange and inventorize the archives after office hours. Mr CG Botha was transferred to the Cape Archives as chief in 1912 and the commission held its last meeting in February 1913.

As a result of the re-organization of the archives service in 1919, the Cape Archives became an integral part of the SA government archives administration. From 1934-1989 the Cape Archives occupied the building of the University of South Africa in Queen Victoria Street. At the end of 1989 the Cape Archives moved to its present location, a custom-designed building in Roeland Street and subsequently assumed the name Cape Town Archives Repository.

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Archives

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Archives. An office which does not form part of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa.

Gauteng Provincial Archives and Records Service (GPARS)

The Gauteng Provincial Archives and Records Service (GPARS) is administered as a sub-programme of the Directorate of Library and Archival Services in Gauteng.

The Gauteng Provincial Archives are responsible for the records of the Gauteng Province (part of the former Transvaal Province), established in 1994.

Free State Provincial Archives Repository Bloemfontein

The Free State Provincial Archives Repository in Bloemfontein, is currently administered as a Directorate in the Chief Directorate of the Library and Archives Services Programme in the Free State Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Eastern Cape Provincial Archives Repository - King William's Town

The largest groups in the holdings at the Eastern Cape Provincial Archives are the records from Grahamstown High Court which occupy 1,250 linear meters of shelving space. These are the most frequently consulted collection through telephonic enquiries. These consist mostly divorce cases and civil matters. The other largest group are the records from Department of Justice in Peddie which occupy 1 550 linear meters. Another frequently consulted collection is the Records Centre holdings which consists of records from the Premiers’ office and the Department of Finance. They consist of personnel files of employees who are no longer in the establishment and cash registers.

Standard Bank Heritage Centre (incorp. Archives & Historical Services)

The Standard Bank Heritage Centre contains a priceless collection of archival material related to the bank. It is open to researchers, historians, genealogists and members of the public by appointment. Minutes of meetings, correspondence, signature books, old photos, staff records, annual reports, inspection reports and so much more form part of the collection.

Port Elizabeth Archives Repository - Eastern Cape

Core holdings: Largest groups: Municipality of Port Elizabeth (correspondence files); Port Elizabeth Supreme Court (Criminal and Civil cases): Former Cape Provincial Administration; Department of Public Works; Native Affairs Commissioner (Estate files); Other: Records, which originated at all the provincial government levels, and those which originated at the different local authorities in the Eastern Cape, as well as the various magistrate’s offices.

National Film, Video, and Sound Archives (NFVSA)

NFVSA collects audio-visual and related material which was made in or about South Africa. Material is deposited and donated by the film, video and sound industries, as well as private persons. Some material is purchased or exchanged. State generated material is transferred periodically in terms of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (No. 43 of 1996 as amended).

National Archives and Records Service of South Africa, Head Office

Areas of specialisation: , commissions of inquiry and transitional government processes. Official publications, library material on archival science and history, cartographic material and photographs. Non-public records received as donations.

National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia can best be described as the memory of our nation – collecting and preserving Australian Government records that reflect our history and identity. Their collection traces events and decisions that have shaped the nation and the lives of Australians. As well as preserving our history, the National Archives plays a key role in helping to ensure the Australian Government and its departments are effective and accountable to the people. Visitors are welcome to explore our collection, online or in person, to learn more.

Rockefeller Archive Centre

The Rockefeller Archive Centre is a repository of historic documents in a wide variety of media and a research center dedicated to the study of philanthropy and the diverse domains shaped by philanthropy.

ANC Online Archives

The online ANC Archives contain a vast collection of material relating to the historic and current functioning of the African National Congress. These collections include audio recordings, audio-visual material, documents, speeches, photographs, quotes and other video content. The collections here represent a snapshot of the digitized material at Fort Hare University.

Archive of Contemporary Affairs (ARCA)

The Archive of Contemporary Affairs (ARCA) is responsible for the collection, safekeeping, arrangement and description of archivalia and for making it accessible to researchers. At present the Archive houses 957 private document collections, covering approximately 3 500m of shelving space. This includes collections from economists, politicians, churches and cultural and community leaders.

Olive Schreiner Letters Online

The feminist and socialist writer and social theorist Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) was one of the most important and radical social commentators of her day. By publishing almost 4300 of Schreiner’s letters online, ulitmately enables letter-writing practices in the social networks she was part of to be explored over a time-period in which many technological and related changes massively impacted on epistolary exchanges, including the invention of addresses, postage stamps and postal services, steam transport, and also the telegraph.

Historical Papers (University of the Witwatersrand)

The Historical Papers research archive, situated in the William Cullen Library, was established in 1966. We are a friendly, vastly used, valued and popular service as well as unique and accessible hub for human rights research serving civil society, scholars and researchers.

Durban in Motion Project

The Durban in Motion Project entails a virtual exhibition and digital archive which was conceived by Dale Peters of Digital Innovation of South Africa (DISA) and Paul Weinberg of The Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town as a result of many discussions about the ‘digital moment’, preservation and making our historical photographic resources accessible.

South African History Archive (SAHA)

SAHA is an independent, online, human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.

Visual History Explorer (VHX)

The Visual History Explorer (VHX) is an interactive spatial and temporal platform that provides unprecedented access and context to archival material concerned with the history of apartheid and the liberation struggle in southern Africa.

African Activist Archive Project

The African Activist Archive is preserving and making available online the records of activism in the United States to support the struggles of African peoples against colonialism, apartheid, and social injustice from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Alan Patan Centre and Struggle Archives

The Alan Patan Centre and Struggle Archives (APC) collects, preserves and conserves documents, manuscripts, papers, books, journals, tapes, videos, posters, artefacts and information on aspects of resistance to apartheid in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre

The Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre contains archival records, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, film or videotapes, sound recordings, ephemera, grey literature, posters, artifacts,personal papers, oral history.

UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives

The UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives provide a unique and often fragile documentary record of South African history and culture, particularly with regard to the apartheid period, the freedom struggle and political imprisonment in South Africa.

Basel Mission Archives

Following on from the integration of our historical images into the International Mission Photography Archive (IMPA) website in 2008, it was decided to increase the degree of overall access to the collections in the Basel Mission Archives.

Morija Archives

The Morija Archives: is housed at the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa, University of the Free State. hosts a unique collection assembled by missionnaries since late 19th century, that forms part of the unique history of the Basotho nation. It covers colonial records, missionnary registers, ancient newspapers and valuable material in French as well as German and many African languages including of course Sesotho.

David Du Plessis Archives

The David du Plessis Archives was founded in 1985 on the campus of Fuller Seminary.  It is named after the South African Pentecostal ecumenist David du Plessis (1905-1987).

The archive has expanded beyond the papers of David J. du Plessis. It includes numerous collections related to the international Holiness, Pentecostal and Charismatic movements and especially the ecumenical currents within them.

Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa) Archive

The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa) Archive

NG Kerk Argief

The most comprehensive archival repository for the Dutch Reformed Church can be found at the Church Archives (Kerkargief) in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

It houses archival collections of the General Synod, as well as of six of the district synods of the Dutch Reformed Church. Additionally, it also houses the archives of the United Reformed Church’s general and Cape synods.

South African Music Archive Project (SAMAP)

The South African Music Archive Project aims to create an online resource on South African music and associated cultural heritage, so as to promote multidisciplinary research in the field of popular music and culture.

Much of South Africa’s music heritage, like that of our political past, is hard to access. Just as people and books were banned and censored, so too was music, sometimes along with the musicians who made it. Much of the material recorded was politically sensitive, or subversive; some of it was never commercially released, and has remained hidden, even forgotten. Troves of local recorded music await identification, digitisation and research.

Islam Religion in South Africa: Culture and Heritage Collections

The first Muslims that arrived in the Cape Colony, came as political exiles. Many of them were from noble and honourable families who fought against the colonisation of their lands by the Dutch and the British. They were sent to South Africa as prisoners. The colonisers tried to stop their influence in Indonesia, Malaysia,  Africa and India.

History, Heritage, Identity: Arabic manuscripts in Cape Muslim Families

South African Jewish Community: History and Collections

The Jewish links to South Africa are said to start with the Portuguese voyages of exploration around the cape in 1452. Jews were involved in these early voyages as mapmakers, navigators and sailors.The Portuguese were not interested in settling in the Cape, but used it as a route to the profitable trading areas of Asia.

The first Jewish congregation was founded in 1841 in Cape Town by an English Jew, Benjamin Norden. He was one of several Jews who arrived in the eastern Cape as part of the 1820 Settlers- the first real British attempt to provide permanent colonial settlement. Most of these early Jewish settler families have totally assimilated.

Pentecostal Church Archives

The David du Plessis Archives was founded in 1985 on the campus of Fuller Seminary.  It is named after the South African Pentecostal ecumenist David du Plessis (1905-1987).

The archive has expanded beyond the papers of David J. du Plessis. It includes numerous collections related to the international Holiness, Pentecostal and Charismatic movements and especially the ecumenical currents within them.

African Orthodox Church of Africa Archives

The African Orthodox Church of Africa was founded in South Africa in 1924 by priests from the independent African Church. These priests were dissatisfied with the administration of the African Church and believed that they could establish and run an independent church for Black Christians that would be more responsive to their own needs and to the needs of their parishioners.

One of the priests in this group was Daniel William Alexander whose leadership abilities were recognized by the others. At the very same meeting in which the priests decided to resign from the African Church and to form their own independent church, they also elected Alexander to the position of bishop.

Dutch Reformed Church

The most comprehensive archival repository for the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (English: Dutch Reformed Church) can be found at the Church Archives in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

It houses archival collections of the General Synod, as well as of six of the district synods of the Dutch Reformed Church. Additionally, it also houses the archives of the United Reformed Church’s general and Cape synods.

Other archival repositories include the digital records of the South African Family History-project which has digitized almost half a MILLION images of the Dutch Reformed Church all over Africa including Botswana, Malawi, Namibia and then South Africa (amongst others).

Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) Archives

The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) was formed and constituted in 1999 as the outcome of the union between the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (RPCSA) and the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA).

These two churches shared the same origin dating back to the 19th century when Britain took over the Cape Colony. Their distinctive characters were that the Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa was constituted among soldiers and settlers who arrived in the Cape in 1820, spreading North into Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Reformed Presbyterian Church on the other hand was a product of Scottish missions intended for the indigenous Africans, which started at Lovedale Mission in Alice. It became autonomous in 1923.

The digital archival collections of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa include mostly institutional repositories of the Presbyterian Link - Newsletter to the Denomination, Executive Commission Papers, and General Assembly Papers.

Lutheran Church of Southern Africa Archival Collections

In 2011 the Lutheran Church, in South Africa, undertook a heritage assessment of their properties in Strand Street, Cape Town (the Church, Gold Museum, Netherlands Consulate and Courtyard behind), and in that process realised that there was an archive of information that had never been made publicly accessible before.

The Lutheran Seminary in Minnesota, U.S.A, also holds a vast collection of materials pertaining to Lutheran missionary activities in South Africa.

FOUR HOSPITALS: 1930s-1978 (UKZN Doctoral Thesis, 2012)


Methodist Church of Southern Africa Archives

The Cory Library at Rhodes University is the official custodian of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa archives, but there are a number of other archival sources and collections to be noted.

University of Pretoria Archival and Special Collections

The University of Pretoria Special Collections unit was separated from the Humanities Faculty Library in April 2007 but its inception dates back to 1934 when the nucleus Africana collection was established by P.C. Coetzee, later professor in Library Science and chief librarian at U.P.

Special Collections plays a stewardship role in the collection, preservation and marketing of the Department of Library Services’ rare and/or valuable information resources and in making them available for research, according to the corporate policy for the University of Pretoria’s heritage collections.

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