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

The South African Jewish Year Book Database

The South African Jewish Year Book Database contains over 1,000 extracted entries from two South African Jewish “Who’s Who” books: 1929’s The South African Jewish Year Book: Directory of Jewish Organizations and Who’s Who in South African Jewry 1929, 5689-90’, and ‘1945’s The Jew in South Africa: A record of what individual Jews are doing in various spheres of the country’s life’.

South African Family Tree Website

The owner, Gina Sheperd, can assist you with researching your South African ancestry on a fee basis.  Fees are calculated on a case by case basis and according to the needs of the client.


Horst Kleinschmidt - A Personal Journey

Horst Gerhard Hermann Kleinschmidt writes on this website that ‘over the past number of years I have been writing a fairly regular Newsletter on my research into my family history and on events in my own past. I also write to the newspapers on South African politics and concerns I have about our young and fragile democracy. Besides that I write to my ‘Ubumelwane’, my neighbourhood in the Southern Cape Peninsula about problems concerning our unequal and racially divided suburbs. And I often comment on the fisheries administration in South Africa where I worked at the end of my career.


The purpose of this website is to bring all these writings and related photographs under one roof.

Ithuba Arts Fund

The Ithuba Arts Fund launches upcoming artists into the professional world of visual arts. It provides an opportunity for new faces and new work in Johannesburg to be supported, developed, promoted and finally showcased in a group exhibition with Ithuba providing financial, marketing and logistical support. Artists are selected based on a call for submissions each year.

In 2012, Ithuba opened a new gallery at 100 Juta Str in Braamfontein, where work by past, current and future Ithuba artists is shown. The space hopes to be an accessible resource for emerging artists in the city.

Artspace Johannesburg

Artspace Johannesburg was established in 2001 by Teresa Lizamore. It is located in Rosebank, Johannesburg on the gallery “art strip” on Jan Smuts Avenue. Since it opened its doors, Artspace’s objective has been to service the growing market of buyers who have begun to invest in South African art. Artspace shows and promotes the work of both emerging and established South African artists, and runs a mentoring programme pairing young and upcoming artists with more established artists.

Gardens of the Golden City

Gardens of the Golden City was the brainchild of Denise Voysey and Esther Townsend, of the Randburg Horticultural Society, with the encouragement of Peggy Morgan (all are past chairladies). Starting on a very small scale in 1997, garden clubs in and around Johannesburg were invited to join in by finding gardens in their areas which would be appreciated by the garden loving public.

Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST)

In 1994, at the same time that South Africa as a democracy was born, the world-famous Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa was on the verge of being shut down due to lack of funding and resources.  Local land-owners and fossil lovers rallied together to establish the Palaeontological Scientific Trust or PAST – a non-profit trust that would be dedicated to preserving Africa’s rich fossil heritage, and promoting ongoing scientific research in the region.

Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research (BPI)

The Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research (BPI) is part of the School of Geosciences in the Faculty of Science of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


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.

South African National Community Theatre Association (SANCTA)

The South African National Community Theatre Association (SANCTA) is a community association whose objective it is to raise the quality, status and profile of the community performing arts in order to make them viable once again and regain their place in the cultural life of communities. SANCTA sets about to achieve its objectives by running fully adjudicated regional festivals culminating in an annual Festival.

South African National Heritage Trust (SANHT)

The National Heritage Trust for South Africa (SANHT) is an initiative being driven by The Conservation Trust, a non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg. It focuses on heritage conservation initiatives in the Parktown Ridge Heritage area. However, spurred by the many unsustained efforts to protect valuable heritage assets in South Africa, the Trustees agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a National Heritage Trust for South Africa which would have as its overall objective the protection, preservation and conservation of heritage assets in the country.

Sober & Lonely Institute for Contemporary Art (SLICA)

The Sober & Lonely Institute for Contemporary Art (SLICA) was founded on 1 April 2011 and developed as an extension of Sober & Lonely’s artistic practice to create a platform of sharing and engagement between like-minded people and organisations.

Sober & Lonely Institute for Contemporary Art (SLICA) is a mobile platform, and hosts various events, suburban residencies, talks and exhibitions at different locations in Johannesburg, South Africa and the world.

David Krut Projects

David Krut Projects is an arts, design and projects gallery space at 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg. It is one of four spaces in our organisation, the others being at the Arts on Main complex near downtown Johannesburg, Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town, and Chelsea New York.

Maboneng Township Arts Experience

The Maboneng Township Arts Experience is a national public arts exhibition that turns homes in townships into galleries and the outdoor spaces into performance districts. It currently happens annually over two days in 3 townships around the country - Alexandra in Johannesburg, Gugulethu in Cape Town and Madedeni, Newcastle in Kwazulu Natal.

Centre for Historical Reenactments (CHR)

The Centre for Historical Reenactments (CHR) aims to respond to the immediate demands of the current moment through an exploration into the historical legacies and their resonance and impact on contemporary art.


Assemblage is a non-profit organisation which intends for the visual arts community of Johannesburg to connect, to share ideas, information and advice and to collaborate. It provides an inclusive forum where visual art students, graduates and professionals can network.

ARTerial Network

The Arterial Network is a dynamic network of individuals, organizations, donors, companies and institutions engaged in the African creative and cultural sector.

Wits Rock Art Research Institute (RARI)

The Rock Art Research Institute had its small beginnings in 1979 when Professor David Lewis-Williams moved from the Social Anthropology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand to the Archaeology Department.

A few years later, in 1983, he started a research project focused on surveying and recording the rock art of the Harrismith district, South Africa. This project was headed by Professor Lewis-Williams, with Bruce Fordyce as the only other researcher, and was funded by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). This project grew and the necessity for interpretation of the rock art, not just finding the rock art sites, became a primary focus.

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.

Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA)

The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) operates as a development agency for the visual arts in South Africa, promoting connection, access and innovation in our industry. This website has been developed as an up-to-the minute resource, providing information, advice and tools for artists, businesses and organisations, as well as providing a platform for research, awareness and discussion around key industry issues.

Museum Africa, Johannesburg

Museum Africa currently is a virtual museum whose goal is to construct a combination museum and library to house the world’s largest collection of primary source documents, books and artifacts pertaining to continental Africa’s history. Its primary function is to provide public access and a centralized location for the purpose of conducting research on individual African cultures.

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.

Modderfontein Conservation Society

The Modderfontein Conservation Society is a volunteer body that helps preserve the Modderfontein Reserve which is located in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa. They give guided walks around the Reserve and they hold a monthly talk on a nature related topic at the Modderfontein town hall. The Reserve is a great place to take a nature walk or spot birds so please keep a close eye on out their schedule of events on their website for various walks and talks.

Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

The mission of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) The JHF’s is to drive the preservation agenda in Joburg which it does through a spectrum of activities including weekly tours, a powerful schools education programme, various listing and plaquing initiatives and ongoing advocacy.

James Hall Museum of Transport

The James Hall Museum of Transport in Pioneers’ Park in La Rochelle, Johannesburg, is a must for anyone keen on vehicles, history, or just meandering through a small sector of South Africa’s past. The museum is a treasure trove of information and displays dealing with over a hundred years of land transport in all its forms.

Adler Museum of Medicine

Located at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Adler Museum of Medicine is a tribute to the medical fields of dentistry, medicine, optometry and pharmacy. It was founded in 1962 by Dr Cyril Adler and was originally housed at the South African Institute for Medical Research.

Egoli Heritage Foundation

The Egoli Heritage Foundation formed as a result of the merger of three iconic Johannesburg Heritage Organisations: 1) the Johannesburg Branch of the Simon van der Stel Association (now Heritage SA), 2) the Johannesburg Historical Foundation and 3) the Sandton Historical Society.

SA Military History Society (SAMHS)

The South African Military History Society (SAMHS) was formed in 1966 in Johannesburg by a core group of amateur historians with the purpose of studying and promoting awareness of military history. Since that time, it has grown to a Society of over 500 members primarily located in four branches, namely Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth), as well as members located throughout the world.

Harold Strange Library of African Studies

The Harold Strange Library of African Studies primarily houses a collection of printed material, it does however, have an interesting and significant archival collections. Areas of specialization include: 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; and various political parties in South Africa.

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.

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.

Goodman Gallery

Goodman Gallery is at the forefront of contemporary art in South Africa. Its focus is on artists — from South Africa, the greater African Continent, and other countries — who engage in a dialogue with the African context.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation

The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation is dedicated to creating a more caring and just society in which human rights and diversity are respected and valued. The various centres serve as a memorial to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust and all victims of Nazism; to teach about the consequences of prejudice, racism and discrimination; and to promote an understanding of the dangers of indifference, apathy and silence.

Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA)

The Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) was founded in 1964. Since then the society has made big strides and genealogy is firmly established as a dynamic and growing phenonmonon in the South African Society. Many people spend hours in researching their family and the GSSA is proudly supporting them, newcomers as well as experienced researchers. One of the goals of the GSSA, is to produce Family Registers and other Genealogical Products making it available to family researchers. They assist with preparing members’ research for printing or writing it to CD. The GSSA also act as a publisher to assist with marketing the completed product.

The Anglo Boer War(s) Archives


The First Anglo-Boer (1880-1881) is also known as the First Transvaal War of Independence because the conflict arose between the British colonizers and the Boers from the Transvaal Republic or Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR). There were several causes of the First Anglo-Boer War - these include: 1) The expansion of the British Empire; 2) Problems within the Transvaal government; 3) The British annexation of the Transvaal; and 4) The Boer opposition to British rule in the Transvaal.


The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) (Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: Tweede Vryheidsoorlog or Tweede Boereoorlog) was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State. It ended with a British victory and the annexation of both republics by the British Empire; both would eventually be incorporated into the Union of South Africa, a dominion of the British Empire, in 1910.

Archival Collections of South African Heads of State (Part Two)

This collective entry holds information pertaining to the various archival Collections of South African Heads of State.

South African Institutional and other Private Art Collections

Many private institutions and companies, including museums, libraries, galleries, universities etc, hold vast art collections.

Corporate Art Collections in South Africa


While businesses have been buying art for a century or more, it’s really only in the past 30 to 40 years that it has been a major preoccupation. Below a registry was compiled of the various corporate art collections in South Africa.

Archival Collections of South African Heads of State (Part One)

This collective entry holds information pertaining to the various archival Collections of South African Heads of State.

Archival Repositories & Private Collections of Political Leaders, Activists & other Role Players

This collective entry contains information pertaining to archival Repositories & Private Collections of various South African Political Leaders, Activists & other Role Players.

South African Political Party Archives

South Africa has a vibrant multiparty political system, with 13 parties represented in the National Assembly of Parliament. Historically, South Africa’s major political parties, include: the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Congress of the People (Cope), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Independent Democrats (ID), the United Democratic Movement (UDF), the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Minority Front (MF), the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO), the African People’s Convention (APC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), the New National Party (NNP).

The South African Liberation Movement / Struggle: Archives and Museums

The South African freedom struggle, spanning three and a half centuries, details the defeats and victories of a people in the quest for justice. The South African freedom struggle always raised the issue of justice for every citizen of the country. From the mid 17th century to the late 20th century, when apartheid reigned in South Africa, the cause was for peace, love and humanity.


Buddhism in South Africa

The Buddhist traditions are represented in South Africa in many forms. Although the inherently introspective nature of Buddhism does not encourage census, adherents to these traditions are usually outspoken and supported by perhaps an even greater, though hidden number of sympathisers. Temples, centres and groups are common in the metropolitan areas and the country is thought to comprise the largest Buddhist community in Africa.

Herbariums and Botanical Gardens of South Africa

South Africa is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, after Indonesia and Brazil. Our country straddles 3 oceans, occupies only about 2% of the world’s land area, but is home to nearly: 10% of the world’s plants; 7% of the reptiles, birds and mammals and 15% of known coastal marine species. Our country is comprised of 9 biomes (unique vegetation landscapes), 3 of which have been declared global biodiversity hotspots.

A herbarium is a collection of dried plant specimens arranged in an accessible system. It is an important source of data used by researchers in many plant-related sciences and is most often used for taxonomic research. Herbaria are centres where plant taxa are studied.

Medicinal plant use in the Bredasdorp/Elim region of the Southern
Overberg in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

Audio-Visual Archival Collections

Audio-visual / non-book materials have a unique role to play in university libraries, national archives and other repositories of (and about) South Africa. Numerous audio-visual archival collections are held, not only in South Africa, but also abroad.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

University of Cape Town Archival and Special Collections

The UCT Archives preserves paper records in two sets of collections:

  • Administrative Archives and
  • the University Libraries’ Special Collections

Stellenbosch University Archival Collections

The Library and Information Service acquired a substantial collection of rare and valuable books, documents, manuscripts and other material over many years by way of bequests, donations and purchases. Special Collections is located on the upper level of the JS Gericke Library, the central library of the Library and Information Service.

This division of the library has as its primary mission the acquisition and preservation of rare materials, making it accessible to clients as well as preserving it for posterity. The division consists of three sections namely Manuscripts, Africana and Rare Books. Each of these sections provides a specialised service and concentrates on specific areas of interest.

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).

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