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

DITSONG: Sammy Marks Museum

Sammy Marks arrived in South Africa with a case of silver knives as his only valuable possession, and became one of the first entrepreneurs, playing a significant role in mining, industrial and agricultural development in the country. 98 % of the household contents in the Zwartkoppies Hall / the Sammy Marks Museum originally belonged to the Marks family.

DITSONG: Pioneer Museum

The stories of the Pioneer Museum and 1848 house, and of the people who lived on the farm, Hartebeestpoort, are enacted against the background of the pioneer years in South Africa.

DITSONG: The National Museum of Military History

The South African National War Museum in Johannesburg was officially opened by Prime Minister Jan Smuts on 29 August 1947 to preserve the history of South Africa’s involvement in the Second World War. In 1975, the museum was renamed the South African National Museum of Military History and its function changed to include all conflicts that South Africa has been involved in. In 1999 it was amalgamated with the Pretoria based Transvaal Museum and National Cultural History Museum to form the NFI.

In April 2010 Ditsong was officially renamed Ditsong Museums of South Africa and the SANMMH was renamed the Ditsong National Museum of Military History.

DITSONG: The National Museum of Cultural History

The National Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria explores South Africa’s cultural diversity in various permanent and temporary exhibitions.

DITSONG: The National Museum of Natural History

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History formerly known as the Transvaal Museum was founded as the Staatsmuseum of the ZAR on the 1st of December 1892.  And it has, since then acted as custodian and documentation centre of South Africa’s natural heritage.

Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

The Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, is Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. Established along a dusty street in the young mining town of Johannesburg the gallery celebrated its centenary year in 2013. Evolving within the continents economic powerhouse, Everard Read has since its inception been associated with pre-eminent artists working in Southern Africa.

WITS Art Museum (WAM)

The WITS Art Museum’s collection grew out of a small departmental teaching collection initiated in the early 1950s by Professor Heather Martienssen, Professor of Fine Arts and History of Art and Professor John Fassler, both of the Architecture Department, at Wits. In the late 1960s Norman Herber donated substantial funds for the acquisition of artworks, enabling the historical and contemporary collections to grow substantially.

Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG)

The Johannesburg Art Gallery, often referred to as JAG, is located in the centre of Joubert Park in the heart of the business district of Johannesburg. The biggest gallery on the sub-continent, JAG boasts over 9,000 works of art, displayed in 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens.

National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC)

The National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) was established in April, 1997 through an act of parliament (Act no.56 of 1997). The vision of the NAC is to promote, through the arts, the free expression of South Africa’s cultures.

Engelenburg House Art Collection

The varied and valuable art collection that is housed in the Engelenburg House reflects Engelenburg’s artistic and cosmopolitan character. Part of the collection consists of heirlooms that were shipped to South Africa and transported to the interior.

Pelindaba Museums of African and Modern Art (PELMAMA)

PELMAMA is an acronym for the “Pelindaba Museums of African and Modern Art”, a project initiated by The Haenggi Foundation Inc., Johannesburg, South Africa, an Association not for Gain established in 1978, after the 1976 Soweto riots.

Miniature Art Society of South Africa (MASSA)

The Miniature Art Society of South Africa (MASSA) was founded in 1992 at the instigation of Charmian Kennealy, who had participated in the Miniature Art Exhibitions throughout America and Canada, and Jeff Sochen whose interest in miniaturism was the catalyst needed to help her. The first meeting was held in February 1992.

Creative Block

Initiated in 2004, the Creative Block is geared towards giving opportunities to artists of outstanding talent, some well known and others newly discovered.

MTN SA Art Collection (MTN SA Foundation)

Initiated in late 1997 and managed by the MTN SA Foundation, the MTN Art Collection consists of some 1,450 South African and African artworks in a wide range of media.

Telkom Art Collection

The Telkom Art Collection was started in 1992 and consists of over 1000 artworks by 300 South African artists. Their works are displayed in Telkom buildings to inspire and uplift employees and visitors.

Bag Factory Artist's Studios

The Bag Factory, one of Joburg’s leading visual arts organisations, has been alive and kicking since 1991, when the space was set up to provide studios for artists – mainly black artists, who at that stage, had very little access to networks and resources in order to build their careers.

SABC Art Collection

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been acquiring art works informally for more than half a century.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Art Collection

The RMB Art Collection comprises of almost 1 500 art works that form part of their Corporate Portfolio. RMB believes that it contributes to the greater vision of thinking that can change the world.

Association of Arts Pretoria / Pretoria Kunsvereniging

The Association of Arts has come a long way in promoting the enjoyment of the visual arts in all its forms. It acquired an uncontested place in the art life of Pretoria, the Gauteng Province and in the whole country. The inter-connected art galleries of the Association are situated in the peaceful, picturesque Austin Roberts Park and Sanctuary and are close to the centre of the city and the University of Pretoria. These galleries have become a pivotal part of the local Pretoria and Gauteng art life.

Pretoria Art Museum

The Pretoria Art Museum is an art museum of world renowned, specialising in South African art.

ABSA Art Gallery

The ABSA Towers North building in the Johannesburg CBD houses a spectacular collection of original artworks. There is a small art gallery in the building, but most of the artworks are housed in the offices and reception areas.

It’s a wonderful space in which to display the artworks, and when the building was commissioned in 1999, the major artworks were commissioned at the same time, allowing the architects and artists to work together to ensure that the building accommodated the artworks perfectly.

Exxaro Art Collection

Exxaro has build-up a corporate art collection reflecting an interest and investment in contemporary art from South Africa’s emerging artists.

Sasol Art Collection

Started in 1983, the Sasol Art Collection comprises over 2000 art works by mainly contemporary, young and emerging South African artists.

Standard Bank Gallery and Art Collections

The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection promotes work by local artists. It includes historically significant works, but in recent years, there has been a strong focus on more contemporary artworks.

Constitutional Court Art Collection

The Constitutional Court Art Collection takes you on a journey - from the harsh, baked and arid earth of the Karoo, to a stern-faced Nelson Mandela in New York; and from the smell and wonder of a Cape landscape in bloom, to tributes to South African women as heroines of struggle; from a woman whose flabby body sags under the weight of age to Moshoeshoe gazing at Thaba Bosiu, the mountain that served as a fortress for the Basotho in the 19th century.

South African Reserve Bank Art Collection

The art collection of the South African Reserve Bank is generally regarded as one of the premier corporate collections in the country, with its outstanding strength being landscape art produced between 1900 and 1970.

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.

Liliesleaf Heritage Site

Liliesleaf is one of South Africa’s foremost, award-winning heritage sites, where the journey to democracy in South Africa is honoured.

Constitutional Court Trust

The Constitutional Court Trust was established in 1995 to manage funds donated in support of the newly established Constitutional Court. The Trust operates on a charitable, not for profit basis, and is independent of both the Court and Government.

Walter Sisulu Square

Walter Sisulu Square in the heart of Kliptown, Soweto, is South Africa’s first township entertainment explosion centre, the very first of its kind eMzansi, attracting both national and international attention with its broad variety of outlets suitable for local traders, event coordinators and international tourists.

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.

Freedom Park

The core function of Freedom Park is the creation of a memorial that will narrate the story of South Africa’s pre-colonial, colonial, apartheid, and post-apartheid history and heritage, spanning a period of 3.6 billion years of humanity, to acknowledge those that contributed to the freedom of the country and managing the Freedom Park as a cultural institution.

Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory

In 2004 the Nelson Mandela Foundation began its transition into an organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work. A comprehensive refurbishment of the Foundation’s building provided it with an appropriate physical home, the Centre of Memory. The Centre was opened on 18 November 2013, three years to the day after Mandela last used the building as his office.

The Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory focuses on three areas of work: 1) the Life and Time of Nelson Mandela, 2) Dialogue for Social Justice and 3) Nelson Mandela International Day.

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.

Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill Precinct in Braamfontein Johannesburg has a very complex history going back to 1892 when the Old Fort was built under the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek. Functioning as a prison, except for the brief period of the South African War (1899-1902) when it was a military defence post, new buildings were added to the site in the late 1900s and early 20th Century: the so-called Natives’ section and isolation cells known as Sections Four and Five where black male prisoners were held, a Women’s Prison (1907), and an Awaiting Trial building (1920s).

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorate the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid. The two commemorative sites are just a few blocks from where 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot in 1976.

Oppenheimer Gardens

The Oppenheimer Gardens lie in the heart of Soweto in the suburb of Jabavu. These Gardens, spread over several hectares, have plenty of trees and indigenous medicinal plants. These provide a haven for many Soweto bird species.

Manie van der Schiff Botanical Garden

The Manie van der Schiff Botanical Garden was established in 1934 and is managed by the University of Pretoria. And although the Garden was originally established to support research and conservation of indigenous plants, the Garden is open to the public.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden

The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is situated at the Emmerentia Dam and was established in 1964 as a large rose garden (becoming known locally as the “Rose Garden”). It subsequently expanded to cover an area of around 125 hectares.

Life Sciences Museum and Biodiversity Centre

The Life Sciences Museum and Biodiversity Centre was formed in 2003 when the Zoology Museum and the C.E. Moss Herbarium combined to form a vibrant teaching, learning and research facility. The museum is now conveniently situated close to the Biophy Library, lecture theatres and teaching labs in the Oppenheimer Life Sciences Building. Displays and exhibitions enhance the open areas of this building. Close to the museum are a young rainforest, a garden of ancient plant groups and displays of living medicinal plants.

Mary Gunn Library

The Mary Gunn Library is housed in the National Herbarium in Pretoria. This Library is the most comprehensive botanical library of its kind in Africa and serves as one of the important botanical and biodiversity resources in Africa.

National Herbarium of South Africa

Is situated within the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, houses the largest collection of plant specimens in southern Africa with over one million specimens.

Mapungubwe Museum Collection / Archive

The Mapungubwe Museum collection is a dynamic collection, its main purpose being to serve as a conservation, research, education and public information resource which is essential to the interpretation and dissemination of knowledge on Mapungubwe in all its diversity.

Lebanese Family Club

The Lebanese Family Club in South Africa was founded by Fr Nadim Abou Zeid in 2004, who, as Superior of the Maronite Catholic Mission in South Africa, had as his aim the finding of a club to preserve and unify the spirit of the Lebanese Family and the Lebanese Diaspora under the shadow of the Cedar Tree.

Seventh Day Adventist Students Association (SDASA)

The Seventh Day Adventist Students Association (SDASA)  is a voluntary, faith- based organisation of students established in 1967. SDASA seeks to empower students by facilitating their growth and development. Also, it seeks to mobilize professionals and entrepreneurs to utilize their skills, abilities and expertise for professional contribution so as to introduce best practices in the Seventh-Day Adventist church community in an attempt to reach out to heal the nation.

National Library of South Africa (NLSA)

The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) is the leading national library and information centre of excellence in Africa and the world. The library’s mission is to act as the primary resource and custodian of South African documentary heritage, promotes creative, effective and efficient universal access to information.

South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD)

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) is the central representative institution of the South African Jewish community. The SAJBD’s mission is to work for the betterment of human relations between Jews and all other peoples of South Africa, based on mutual respect, understanding and goodwill, and to protect the civil liberties of South African Jews. It is committed to a South Africa where everyone will enjoy freedom from the evils of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.

S.P Engelbrecht Museum

Die SP Engelbrecht-museum is op Woensdag 25 Augustus 2010 amptelik ingewy by sy nuwe tuiste in die historiese kerkgebou van Gemeente Pretoria by Du Toitstraat 169. Maande lange voorbereiding het dié luisterryke geleentheid voorafgegaan. Argiefstukke is die eerste keer in jare behoorlik skoongemaak, uitstalkaste is bekom, en museumkundiges het die argivaris, Nándor Sarkady, bygestaan om ’n smaakvolle uitstalling in die galery van die kerkgebou in te rig.

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

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

South African Council of Churches

The SACC is a body for Christian witness. Its mandate is to teach, prophesy, rebuke and correct the wrongs that seek to define society.

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has over years been struggling with its renewed vision since the inception of the new democratic dispensation. It is one of those Councils in the world that worked so hard to expose the wrongs of apartheid form of government and was indeed successful in mobilizing world community against the old South Africa and its policies.

Baptist Church in South Africa Archives

Baptists first came to South Africa from Europe with the German and English Settlers in the early 1800s and the first Baptist church was established at Salem near Grahamstown in 1819.

Christian Education in the Baptist convention of SA with special reference to churches in the transvaal: a practical theological investigation PhD in Practical Theology, University of Pretoria

The Maronite Catholic Church in South Africa

The history of the Lebanese Community goes back to the late 19th century, when the first immigrants arrived in Johannesburg, the biggest city in the Transvaal. They came from Sebhel, Mezyara, Besharre, Hadath El-Joube, Maghdouche and other places. The majority of the Lebanese immigrants were Maronite and were concerned about keeping their Maronite faith alive in a new country, they wrote to the Maronite Patriarch, insisting on a Maronite Priest to come to South Africa to continue their tradition and the Maronite Rite.

Catholic Church in South Africa: Library and Archive Collections

Much of what can be said of English-speaking Protestant Christianity in terms of social and ecumenical ethos could be written of the Roman Catholic Church. Like the Protestant English-speaking churches, the Roman Catholic Church has a long history of involvement in education, health work and other forms of social engagement. Unlike the Protestant churches, however, it refused to accede to government demands to close its schools following the Bantu Education Act of 1953, financing them with funds raised locally and overseas.

Roman Catholicism was regarded with suspicion by the Afrikaner nationalist government, with the Roomse Gevaar following close on Swart Gevaar and Rooi Gevaar. This made it marginal within the South African Christian scene.45 In some ways this made the Roman Catholic Church more cautious at times in its opposition to apartheid, though its record in opposing apartheid is at least equal to that of any of the other English-speaking churches.

The hierarchy of the Catholic church in South Africa is similar to that of other churches, with the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) taking an important leadership role—especially in the 1980’s. Since the 1960’s, the Roman Catholic Church has been ecumenically engaged, and after some years as an observer of the SACC it became a full member in 1995. Eleven percent of South Africa’s Christians in 1991 declared themselves Roman Catholics.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa

In 1853, three Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived in Cape Town and began missionary work on the African continent. On 16 August 1853, the first branch was organized at Mowbray, Cape Town. By August 1855 the South African mission consisted of three conferences, six branches, and 126 members.

The Church closed the mission from 1865 to 1903 because of government restrictions and difficulties with the language. During this time, many of the members immigrated to Utah, but a small nuclei remained in the country and maintained a presence of the Church. In 1903, President Warren H. Lyon reopened the mission.

South Africa Vital Records Index

Anglican Church of Southern Africa

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa is situated on the southern tip of Africa. This Province was formerly known as the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA).

The Anglican Church in this Province was established in 1870 when its first Provincial Synod was held in Cape Town. It has grown over the years and now has 25 dioceses, found in the countries of Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mocambique, Namibia, South Africa and the island of St Helena (South Atlantic Island). It has a diverse membership of approximately 3 – 4 million people, speaking many languages and representing many cultures and races.

In 1989 the Church produced its new An Anglican Prayer Book, 1989 which was simultaneously published in 6 languages. Today it is available in 9 of the languages spoken in these regions.

Church of Province of South Africa: Records and Collections

The Church of the Province of South Africa, is also known since 2006 as the “Anglican Church of Southern Africa”. The Church includes dioceses in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Saint Helena, South Africa and Swaziland.

Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA)

The origins of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa are to be found in Cape Town and in the Baviaans River valley in the Eastern Province. In 1806 a Scottish regiment, the 93rd Southern Fencibles, was posted to the Cape of Good Hope. No chaplains were appointed to regiments at that time, and on their own initiative the men founded a Calvinist Society. In 1812 George Thom, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, arrived at the Cape, and from that society formed a congregation, mainly Presbyterian, although members of other denominations were enrolled.

Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa

The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (Ned. Herv. Kerk or NHK) is a Reformed Christian denomination in Southern Africa. Along with the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) and the Gereformeerde Kerke (GK) it forms part of the Dutch Reformed group of churches.

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.

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.

University of Johannesburg Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections

The Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections is located on the Doornfontein Campus. The Department started as a small Rare Book Collection Department and grew over time to include the University Archives, Special Collections (which include rare books, Africana and document/manuscript collections) and the Institutional Repository (our electronic archive).

Walter Sisulu University: Africana and Special Collections

WSU Library Collections cater for a wide spectrum of scholarship ranging from the Undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate information needs. In addition to our local collections we expose our learners to resources held in other academic libraries in the Eastern Cape.

All province organisation

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