National English Literary Museum (NELM), Grahamstown

National English Literary Museum (NELM), Grahamstown

5 Worcester St, Grahamstown, 6139
Tel: +27 (0)46 622 7042
Website: NELM moved buildings in 2016, and its website will not be fully operational until later in 2017. See
Hours: Monday to Friday, 08h30 – 13h00, 14h00 – 16h30
Digital photography is NOT permitted. 

The mission of the National English Literary Museum is to promote the reading and appreciation of all forms of imaginative South African literature in English. Core holdings include the papers of a broad spectrum of Southern African writers. Major collections include those relating to:

  • Athol Fugard
  • Pauline Smith
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika
  • Dennis Brutus,
  • Sir Percy FitzPatrick
  • Jack Cope
  • Barney Simon
  • Olive Schreiner
  • Guy Butler
  • Joy Packer
  • Frank Brownlee
  • Lionel Abrahams
  • Leon Gluckman.

NELM also has publishing holdings include the archives of David Philip Publisher (Pty.) Ltd. and various other publishers. In addition, it holds press clippings files on over 5700 writers and literary topics, and these files are continually updated.

The new NELM website will be available later in 2017. So at the time of writing (Feb 17) it is not possible to provide an indication of what kinds of information will be available for project preparation. However, the new building is functional and hands-on research on the collections can be carried out.


Last updated: 16 February 2017


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