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

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.

Gately House

Gately House is a Town House unique in South Africa in that virtually all that is displayed was acquired by the original owners over the years. It was built by Mr. John Gately in 1876 and was lived in by his family until the death of his last surviving child, Margaret, in 1966

The Owl House

In the remote Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda is a fascinating world of concrete sculpture, fantastic figures and mythical beasts set around a house decorated with luminous paint and multicoloured panes of glass. This is the Owl House, created by the reclusive Helen Martins and her labourer Koos Malgas in the 1940s and now regarded as a masterpiece of visionary art.

Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre

The Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre depicts the setting in the area around Nieu Bethesda 253 million years ago during the Permian Period. The centre showcases the fossils found both in Nieu Bethesda and in other places in South Africa. The fossils date to a time 50 million years before the age of dinosaurs when the continents were merged in a supercontinent called Pangea.

Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha

Ten years to the day after his release on 11 February 1990, the Nelson Mandela Museum opened its doors. Nelson Mandela insisted it was not just to be a static collection and tribute to him, but a living memorial to his values and vision. It was to inspire and enrich all who visit it, serve as a catalyst for development and should share the heritage resources linked to him.

The Department of Arts and Culture took his words to heart and pledged funding for the Nelson Mandela Museum as part of its series of national legacy projects that honour South Africa’s liberation heroes.

P.W Vorster Museum, Middelburg

The P.W Vorster Museum in Middelburg is housed in the building which was built in 1827. It was renovated in 1887 ,and a gable was added to the building’s exterior. Inside the museum, an interesting and informative collection of old photographs and information about the founder families are exhibited. Relics from the military era shed light on the time when the peace keeping force was stationed here.

Middelburg Cultural Historical Museum

The Middelburg Cultural Historical Museum displays the history of Middelburg and the surrounding areas. The museum is 25 years old and housed in an old school building partially build out of stone. It houses an internationally renowned collection of San artefacts.

Lady Grey Museum

The Lady Grey Museum is situated in a Victorian building which housed the Poor School between 1898 and 1914. Its exhibits focus on celebrities such as Athol Fugard and Tiro Vorster who have roots in the Middelburg.

Jeffrey's Bay Shell Museum

Jeffreys Bay has always been associated with its beautiful & rich variety of shells. The Jeffrey’s Bay Shell Museum has thus become world renowned & is visited by shell fanatics from all over.

Sid Fourie Historical Museum

The Sid Fourie Historical Museum also known as Jansenville’s Museum and houses a number of collections that offer a peak into the lifestyles of the past as well as the area itself.

Humansdorp Museum

The Humansdorp Museum a cultural history museum, focuses on the growth and development of Humansdorp through its display of farming implements, bottles, shells, clothing and crockery. It also features a restored water mill.

South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)

Situated in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) is an internationally recognised centre for the study of aquatic biodiversity.

SAIAB’s science focuses on the full spectrum of aquatic environments: from marine offshore to continental freshwater catchments. Research covers ecology and conservation biology that links biodiversity at molecular and organism levels with the environment and genetic and species diversity.

Wellwood Fossil Museum

The fossil collection(s) at the Wellwood Fossil Museum is a treasure trove of creatures long forgotten 200+ Million years ago. a rich source of information of our prehistoric past that is still used by many universities here and overseas.

Buffalo Volunteer Rifles (BVR) Military Museum

The Buffalo Volunteer Rifles (BVR) Military Museum is located in East London. The museum is the city’s hidden gem; unknown to many yet containing a treasure trove of history. The museum serves as a depository of war history that is preserved for future generations.

Calgary Transport Museum

The Calgary Transport Museum, a satellite of the East London Museum, features a collection of carts, wagons and handcarts from the Border region, acquired and restored by the late Robin Wells. Also on show are a gypsy caravan, a tack room and a wheelwright’s workshop and forge.

Despatch Museum

The Despatch Museum, located in Church Street in Despatch, was brought about as part of a long term vision of the “Friends of Despatch”.

Anderson Museum, Dortrecht

Established in 1984, the Anderson Museum features a turn of the century house and a variety of other antique exhibits on local genealogy, agricultural implements and the Bert Wodehouse Gallery—a photographic display of San (Bushman) rock art.

An Anglo-Boer War exhibit depicting the incursion of Jan Smuts into the Cape Colony is also on display.

Schreiner House

The Schreiner House is one of Cradock’s most interesting and old buildings. It was home to the world-renowned author Olive Schreiner between 1868 and 1870.

In the museum there is a display of Schreiner’s personal library, pictorial exhibitions of her life and copies of all the books she wrote. There is also a wide variety of books available for sale, including Schreiner’s most celebrated work, The Story of an African Farm.

Great Fish River Museum

The Great Fish River Museum, housed in the old Dutch Reformed Church parsonage, a national monument dating back to 1849, gives a picture of the way of life of pioneer settlers in the Eastern Cape in 1806 through furniture, ceramics and photographs.

C.M Van Coller Museum

The C.M Van Coller Museum is in a turn-of-the-century shop and features early 19th century household items from the Cathcart district.

Burgersdorp Cultural Historical Museum

The Burgersdorp Cultural Historical Museum comprises of an old parsonage, two typical Karoo houses, the first theological school and lean-tos in which old wagons and farm implements are displayed.

Bathurst Argicultural Museum

The Bathurst Argicultural Museum comprise engines, tractors, wagons, buggies, agricultural machinery and tools, some dating back to British settlers.

Barkley East Museum

The Barkley East Museum offers fascinating displays telling a story about the history of Barkly East, how it originated and artifacts and items found in the area giving you an insight into how people lived and survived in the area.

Kerkplein Museum, Aliwal North

The Kerkplein Museum in Aliwal North is a component of the Aliwal North Museum Complex, covering local history, with exhibits and colletion featuring many different themes - it has a street scene depicting shops, a church and the De Wet and Henning houses as they were in the past. It also has a photo exhibition of the Boer War.

Aliwal North Museum

The Aliwal North Museum is bursting with a wealth of knowledge and interesting things to see and learn. It is made up of two buildings, 1) the old library dating back to 1876 and 2) the Old Dutch Reformed Church dating back to 1864.

Brimming with culture and history about this little town, you will be able to find historical newspaper collections, photographs, objects and items used during these times and interior displays of street scenes with houses and shops as well as an outside display of old farming methods.

F.S Malan Museum, Alice

The F.S Malan Museum, at the University of Fort Hare, features collections of beadwork, wooden sculptures and costumes.

De Beers Centenary Art Gallery, University of Fort Hare

The De Beers Centenary Art Gallery is housed at the University of Fort Hare, the oldest black university in the country, founded in 1916. The De Beers Centenary Gallery houses a substantial collection of black South African art acquired over an extended period.

Within the campus of University of Fort Hare, the excellent De Beers Centenary Art Gallery has some very important work by contemporary South African artists, plus archive material on Steve Biko, Black Consciousness and the African National Congress.

Ons Erfenis Museum, Adelaide

The Ons Erfenis Museum in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape, is a period house museum whose highlights are a ceramics collection (Wedgewood, Dresden and Staffordshire), yellowwood and stinkwood furniture, silverware, glassware and jewellery.

Lady Grey Arts Academy

The Lady Grey Arts Academy is a specialised school where young people are developed in the arts. Founded in 1996, the Academy’s boundaries soon expanded to welcome pupils from all backgrounds and cultures - the Academy is indeed a true reflection of the South African “Rainbow Nation”.

National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre (NAHECS)

The National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre (NAHECS) was established in 1981 on the basis of the former Xhosa Literature Centre, attached to the then Faculty of Arts, University of Fort Hare. The objective of the centre was to accumulate, document and preserve oral and written literary material pertinent to the Xhosa Language with the purpose of making it accessible to various researchers and the public.

IsiXhosa National Lexicography Unit (Formerly Xhosa Dictionary Project)

The IsiXhosa National Lexicography Unit (Formerly known as the Xhosa Dictionary Project) is a culmination of a project of the University of Fort Hare which started in 1968, under the late Prof W H Pahl, as its first Director and Editor-in-Chief.

Graaff-Reinet Museum

The Graaff-Reinet Museum is the fifth largest Province-aided museum in the Eastern Cape with a floor space of almost 4000 m². It is a major tourist attraction within the Camdeboo area and one of the most important international tourist attractions within a 203km radius from Port Elizabeth.

Ann Bryant Art Gallery

The Ann Bryant Art Gallery is housed in a double-storied Edwardian home set in an established garden in East London. Owned by the City of East London, the gallery has a collection of about 350 works and adds to it every year with funding from the City Council. There are about 60 art works exhibited at any one time. The works are occasionally loaned to other galleries.

Red Location Museum and Gallery

The Red Location Museum and Gallery was designed to promote art in the township in the ‘culturally alive’ New Brighton.

International Library of African Music (ILAM)

The International Library of African Music (ILAM) aims to discover, record, analyze, and archive the music of sub-Saharan Africa, with the object of establishing a theory of music making in Africa and assessing the social, cultural, and artistic values of African music.

Port Elizabeth Museum (Bayworld)

The Port Elizabeth Museum, which blends cultural with natural history, is the third oldest in South Africa and is the parent unit of Bayworld.

Fort Beaufort Historical Museum

The Museum collects items related to Fort Beaufort, district and area.

East London Museum

The East London Museum was established in 1921 when a Museum Society was founded with RJ Rattray as President. In 1925 it was granted land on the Selborne Estate by the East London Municipality. The museum was officially opened on 26 September 1931. By 1945 it needed to expand, so a new site was obtained and the present building was opened in 1950. Further extensions have subsequently been added. A name synonymous with the museum is that of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the first Curator (later Director), who retired after 42 years of service (1931-1973).

Buffalo City Municipal Library

Dr Joseph Denfield offered his collection of historical material on East London to the library in 1967. This formed the foundation of the Local History Collection now housed in the Denfield Africana Library.

Amathole Museum

The Amathole Museum has its origins in the King William’s Town Naturalist Society founded in 1884. Since the opening of the museum, historical artefacts were donated by the public. Only in 1971, however, was the first Historian appointed. The History collection consists today of a large amount of artefacts. The Missionary Museum was founded and incorporated by the Amathole Museum and also forms part of the duties of the History section.

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.

Cape Tercentenary Foundation

The Cape Tercentenary Foundation came into being with the following mission in mind: to preserve, promote and encourage literature, the visual and performing arts, and the natural and cultural environment in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces.

Heritage Railway Association of Southern Africa (HRASA)

Heritage Railway Association of Southern Africa (HRASA) was formed to be the recognised representative body for the benefit and support of its members and to provide oversight of the heritage railway preservation and heritage railway tourism industry in Southern Africa.

Middelburg Karoo Heritage Trust

The Middelburg Karoo Heritage Trust is an affiliated branch of Heritage SA, the largest and oldest heritage group in South Africa. Its members are passionate and committed to the preservation of heritage resources in the region.

Graaff-Reinet Heritage Society

The Graaff-Reinet Heritage Society is involved in preservation activities in around this historic Eastern Cape town. Graaff-Reinet is the fourth oldest town in South Africa and is often described as the ‘heart of the Great Karoo’. The society is an affiliated branch of Heritage SA, the largest and oldest organisation of its kind in the country.

1820 Settlers' Association of South Africa

The 1820 Settlers’ Association of South Africa is a living memorial which perpetuates the memory of the 1820 British Settlers and is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation. The Association sponsors Fleur Way-Jones at the Albany Museum as their resident genealogist and representative in Grahamstown. They also have a representative in George, who looks after the Outeniqua area, and a branch in Durban, Natal.

Mandela Bay Heritage Trust

The Mandela Bay Heritage Trust is a branch of Heritage SA (the oldest and largest heritage organisation in South Africa). It actively promotes heritage preservation in the region through research, listing and plaquing activities. The organisation has cultivated relationships with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that its voice is heard when a heritage resource is threatened.

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.

Centre for Training, Research and Education (CenTRE)

The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and Rhodes University opened the Centre for Training, Research and Education (CenTRE) in Grahamstown in 2012.

Albany Museum

The Albany Museum, located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province, was established in 1855 and is the second oldest museum in South Africa. It is a provincial museum funded by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture.

Cory Library, Rhodes University

Although Cory Library is maintained by Rhodes University primarily for its faculty and students, it is also open to visiting researchers, staff and students from other universities, as well as the general public.

Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance

The Steven Biko Garden of Rememberance, formerly known as the Ginsberg cemetery, lies at the entrance to King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Ria Olivier Herbarium

The Ria Olivier Herbarium is housed at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and contains specimens collected primarily along the Eastern Cape and Western Cape coastal plains, as far inland as about 100 km. The herbarium also contains a collection of macroalgae and phytoplankton.

Moravian Church of South Africa

The Moravian Mission was the first missionary society in South Africa when one of its missionaries, Georg Schmidt, established a mission station at Baviaanskloof (later renamed Genadendal = Valley of Grace) in the Cape Province in 1737. After some confrontations with neighbouring Boer farmers and the dominant Dutch Reformed Church, Schmidt was forced to leave the Cape. When the Moravians were allowed to return in 1792, the missionaries found remnants of the first missionary congregation still active. From Genadendal the mission spread throughout the Cape colony.

The Moravian Church in South Africa of today has two regions (Western and Eastern) and is largely confined to the old Cape Province. Even though it is an independent church, it has historical links to the Lutheran church going back many years. It is a member of LUCSA; AACC; SACC; LWF; and MUB.

University of Fort Hare Archival Collections

The University of Fort Hare Library has Campus Libraries located on the Alice Campus as well as at the East London Campus of the University, the Division of External Studies in Bisho and the Department of Nursing Sciences also in East London.

The Library has over 165 000 volumes of books, periodicals and other material. Special collections are housed in the Howard Pim Library of Rare Books which is situated on the ground floor of the the main library building. The East London Campus Library includes the Bisset Berry Collection that also is housed separately from the campus’s main collection. Pamphlets detailing the facilities and services provided in the Library are provided free of charge.

The Library also houses the Archives of the African National Congress (ANC). The bulk of this collection consists of records of the foreign missions of the ANC. The missions operated in 33 countries around the world during the anti-apartheid struggle. Among the records are the correspondence of each mission, press-cuttings, anti-apartheid posters, photographs and audio-visual records of mission activities. For anyone interested in the history of the struggle against apartheid, this collection represents a unique resource.



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