National Archives, Pretoria

National Archives, Pretoria

National Archives Building, 24 Hamilton Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
Switchboard:  +27 (0)12 441 3200
Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30-4; first Saturday of the month, 9-1
Digital photography is permitted subject to minor restrictions.

The collections held in the National Archives repository consist of two main areas of holdings, those of the old Transvaal archives, and those of the national archives of South Africa.  It has an amazing array of collections covering a very long time period and a diversity of people and organisations. It is, however, difficult for new users to establish exactly what collections it has, because many finding aids have been lost or stolen and staff are consequently themselves sometimes unaware of holdings.

Inventories of archival collections are mostly only available in hardcopy format in the Reading Room and can be difficult to find because these have separate reference numbers which are different from the reference numbers of collections. Website information, now out of date, states that inventories will eventually be made available on the website; there is a list of those currently available, but this involves only a minority of the collections. The website also claims that the National Archive collections are searchable via its online database, but this is seriously out of date. It also says that it is in process of being brought up to date, but few or no signs of this can be seen.

A combination of references in published work and personal visit will be required to establish the relevance of its collections to any particular project. Email or telephone contacts are sometimes less successful.

Last updated: 1 January 2018