Special Collections, University of Cape Town

Special Collections, University of Cape Town

Jaggar Building, University Avenue, Rondebosch, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 650 4089
Hours: Mon to Fri 8.30-17.30; Sat 9-13.00
Website: http://www.specialcollections.uct.ac.za
Digital photography is permitted subject to minor restrictions.

Special Collections includes some 1,300 discrete archival collections, consisting of original research material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of Southern Africa, with a strong focus on the Western Cape. Collections deal with a wide range of subjects, including art, music, education, literature and language, botany, politics and architecture, and include records in all media.

The collections include the personal papers of prominent people, or whose papers constitute an important record of Southern African social history; the papers of communities not strongly represented in archives; corporate papers from non-governmental organisations, companies or institutions; the personal and research papers of UCT academics; non-administrative records relating to the history of UCT; architectural collections of leading South African architects; papers and record books of ethnic and religious communities and papers of individuals prominent in such communities; manuscript music scores and personal papers of South African composers; papers relating to labour and trade, and the records of labour unions; the oral history of South Africa; papers and other materials associated with important social, historical, or cultural issues or movements. – See more at: http://www.specialcollections.uct.ac.za/manuscripts#sthash.XGj59W0M.dpuf

For correspondence in collections – see http://www.specialcollections.uct.ac.za/sc/index-correspondence-collections

The Special Collections website is detailed and helpful. There is a detailed and printable Guide to the manuscript sources, which can be accessed online; this is invaluable in providing outline information about accessions. There is also a comprehensive searchable online catalogue for the UTC manuscripts collections. This can be accessed online from anywhere, not just while in the Library, although figuring out how to use it is not straightforward. The brief indications of the focus, temporal span and size of collections provided by the online information can be backed by what is in the Guide, enabling detailed preparation before any planned visit.

Last updated: 1 January 2018