Archival Collections

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Other Collections

Badenhorst-Durrant collection [B5]

Correspondence, press cuttings, pamphlets, memoranda and notes about the United Party and the National Party 1948-1980

Bakker collection [B6]

The documentation donated to the library by Gerrit Bakker, a Johannesburg antiquarian bookseller, includes a vast volume of correspondence; letters from the Dutch poet and critic, Jan Greshoff, letters from Elizabeth Eybers, as well as a censored letter written by Uys Krige to his parents, when he was held as a prisoner of war in Italy.

The Greshoff-correspondence started before 1939, when the family left Europe to settle in South Africa and continued well into the nineteen sixties. The correspondence bears witness to Greshoff’s involvement in South African cultural life and to his contribution to Afrikaans and Dutch literature.

Bakker not only loved and was attuned to all forms of art, but was also a gourmet cook and entertainer par excellence. The collection includes the manuscript of Bakker’s unpublished autobiography, several photo albums and his recipe book.

Bisschop collection [B1]

Documents of the Tomlinson Commission on Apartheid.

Finding Aid

Prof. JHR Bisschop (1898-1984) was considered an agricultural expert in the field of stock-farming in Southern Africa. He was a member of the “Commission on the Socio-Economic Development of the Native Areas within the Union of South Africa” during 1951 – 1954″.

The so-called “Tomlinson Report” was the result of the Government of the Union of South Africa’s commissioned inquiry into the socio-economic development of the former Bantustans in South Africa. The purpose was to investigate the future of the Natives (as non-Europeans were called during this period), inside and outside the traditional Homelands, as well as the methods for their development, directed at peaceful co-existence with their white neighbours.

The report of the Commission for the Socio-Economic Development of the Bantu Areas within the Union of South Africa was released on the 1st of October 1954. The report consisted of 51 chapters of more than a million words; 598 tables and an atlas with 66 maps. The printed report has 18 volumes. A summary of the report was published in 1956 as a “blue book” and a white paper was published simultaneously, to indicate what the government is already implementing, which suggestions they accepted and what was reject in this report.

LanguageThis material is available in Afrikaans and English.
UseHumanities. Research on political science : apartheid and the land destined for black farming; history, agriculture, religious institutions and apartheid; the South African press in 1956.
TypeDocuments (records of evidence), conference papers, photographs, HANSARD, newsclips

[BOYA] Boyazoglu collection of French Africana

Named after Prof J.G. Boyazoglu, former Counsellor (Agricultural/Technical) at the South African Embassy in Paris, collector and donator of this unique collection of French Africana – the most comprehensive on the subject in South Africa.

The collection comprises material illustrating French involvement in South African history, including the following:

  • material relating to the early French journeys to the Cape and South African interior;
  • descriptions of the role played by French missionaries in Southern Africa in the early
    nineteenth century;
  • documents regarding the French attitude to and observations during the Boer War;
  • documents on French involvement in the development of the mining industry in South Africa;
  • a collection of Boer-War memorabilia, e.g. porcelain, toys, etc.
LanguageThis material is available in French (95% of documents) and English
UseHumanities. Research on early 19th century history of Southern Africa; French missionaries in Southern Africa; the Boer War 1889 – 1902 and French involvement; development of the mining industry in South Africa and French involvement.
TypeBooks, bound newspapers and memorabilia.


ABA Brink Collection [B26]

Articles, reports and conference proceedings on civil engineering.
Finding Aid
ll African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering 26 October – 1 November 1959

Elsabé Brink collection [B33]

It consists of correspondence, research papers on topics such as heritage sites, historical events, history of SA – especially Gauteng and Johannesburg (incl. Soweto). The papers span the years 1970 – 2010.

Oral history tapes:

  • on 16 June 1976: interviews with Soweto inhabitants;
  • interviews with women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 (Women’s Anti-pass march)
  • The history of Freedom Square, Kliiptown
  • Women’s National Coalition

PM Cillié collection [B7]

Documents of the Commission of Inquiry regarding the 16th June 1976 Soweto unrest. It consists of the legal documentation of the facts that initiated the unrest, which lasted until February 1977.

A G de Witt collection [B15]

Constitutional Development in SA – 1981.

Education collection [B22]

The material covers the period 1984-1993 and consists of situation reports on conditions in schools throughout the country e.g. information on unrest in education.

Michal Grobbelaar collection [B21]

The late Mr. Michal Grobbelaar, once Director of the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, donated a huge collection of books, theatre programs and original theatre documents to the Library. This Collection provides a unique insight into the theatre history of Johannesburg.

The unpublished material includes original Afrikaans theatre texts, Civic Theatre programs since 1945, documents of A-Theatre Johannesburg, the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (Werksgemeenskap Witwatersrand), the Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Teatertegnologie, Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging, Maatskappy vir Europese Immigrasie, the Johannesburgse Wynproewersgilde and the South African Association of Theatre Managements.

Rita Elferink collection [B14]

The Rita Elferink Collection perfectly complements the Grobbelaar Collection. In 1959 Rita Elferink started her career at the SABC, initially as a translator and subsequently as a presenter at the overseas Afrikaans radio service. She translated radio plays into Afrikaans from the original German, French, Portuguese, Dutch and English texts. Her Collection contains originally translated Afrikaans texts, as well as original Afrikaans radio-plays written by various well-known Afrikaans authors.

C D Geyer collection [B24]

Pamphlets, documents, Afrikaans theatre programmes.

DAS Herbst collection [B3]

Documents regarding the Government and Commission of Inquiry re the Freedom of the Press in SA; documents about the church.

Institute of American Studies of RAU [C9]

Documents on the Info Scandal in 1979 and Inter-disciplinary Working Group on a Communication Strategy for South Africa.

Ena Jansen collection [B35]

Correspondence between Jansen and poet Elisabeth Eybers, research on Eybers, signed books of Eybers, newspaper articles and reviews about Eybers.

[JES] Jesuit collection (The Society of Jesus)

In 1990, The Society of Jesus entrusted to the library, on a permanent loan basis, the safe-keeping of their book collection.

The bulk of the collection comprises

  • works on theology and church history, as well as
  • valuable Africana and old prints
LanguageThis material is available in English (95% of documents) and Afrikaans.
UseHumanities. Research on early 19th century history of South Africa; the Boer War 1889 – 1902 and the Catholic religion.

Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra collection [B30]

Press cuttings, posters, correspondence, programmes, minutes of meetings, photographs and financial reports.

J P Leighton collection [C5]

Documents relating to the Commission of Inquiry on Matters regarding Television in 1970; the Press Union, SABC memorandum, agendas and minutes..

Mansvelt collection [B19]

A collection of Africana books, framed pictures, objects, letters and documents.

[MISS] Missak collection on mysticism [B18]

Julien Minas Missak (1906-1980), donator of this collection, was born in Belgium – the son of an Armenian father and a Flemish mother. He immigrated to South Africa and lived in Westcliffe. The collection’s artefacts and paintings are under the curation of the UJ Art Gallery. Documents and books were transferred for safekeeping to the Library. It contains very old, rare and valuable leather-bound volumes.

The most important items are known as the Ottoman Missak Archives, consisting of Ottoman, Armenian, French and Greek documents and old family photographs, which trace the history and genealogy of the Missak dynasty in the Ottoman Empire.

LanguageThis material is available in French, Greek, English, Flemish, Armenian & the ancient Ottoman Turkish language.
UseHumanities. Research on ancient history philosophy, religion, demonology, the occult and ancient medicine.
TypeBooks, documents, photographs,


Namibia collection [B23]

About 30% of the total donation consists of newspaper cuttings and other material collected by a former lecturer in the Dept. of Development Studies of RAU. It covers aspects of the South Africa/Namibia question relating to political independence.

The rest of the donation comprises documents on the history, economy, foreign affairs, military matters and history of various other countries. It also includes documentation on black South African political figures and on the incidence of miner’s phthisis in South Africa.

Nöffke- collection [C4]

USA Grand Jury material, used in the fraud case instituted by the American Congress against a Washington lawyer, Donald De Kieffer, when the SA Information Scandal became public in 1978.

Rita Oosthuizen Netball collection [B28]

Netball journals, brochures and netball programmes. Also included is Mrs Oosthuizen’s research for her publication A Century of netball.

Pincus collection [B25]

A collection regarding newspaper reporters and information about the Sunday Times, the Star; photographs, business pages, property and correspondence.

R J Seeber collection [B29]

Newspaper clippings and media monitoring about telecommunication (cell phones.)

The Charlene Smith collection [B32]

Charlene Smith is a multi-award-winning journalist, author and media consultant. Smith’s areas of expertise are politics, economics, violence, women’s and children’s issues and HIV/Aids.

The papers span the years 1977-2007 and cover the topics of the ANC, Anti-rape Campaign, Black Sash, displaced people, hostels, Mandela, Mbeki’s politics, MDC/Zimbabwe, MK Special Operations, Robben Island etc.

G M van der Waal Collection [B17]

The City Council of Johannesburg commissioned Dr. Gerhard-Mark van der Waal in the 1970’s to compile a list of all the existing historical buildings in the City. His doctorate, Die boukuns van Johannesburg, completed in 1985 at RAU, forms the basis of the material which he offered for sale to the Library. The Collection consists of documents, photographs, postcards, negatives, house-plans and historical documents relating to old buildings in Johannesburg.

Eiselen collection [B20]

Speeches and correspondence (1948-1971) of Dr WWM Eiselen, Secretary of Bantu Administration and Development, donated by C S van der Waal. The collection also comprises some input of Prof H Mönnig and Dr P Koornhof and documentation regarding the Soweto Unrest in 1976.

H G Viljoen collection [B2]

The late Prof. G van N Viljoen, once rector of the former Rand Afrikaans University, donated interesting material inherited from his father, Dr. H G Viljoen, editor of Die Huisgenoot (1923–1931).

This collection comprises hand-written poems and letters by A G Visser, C J Langenhoven, T J Haarhof and C M van den Heever, four hand-written articles for Die Huisgenoot by Eugène Marais, as well as sketches by artists, such as Erich Mayer, Gerard Moerdyk and Gregoire Boonzaier, four drawings by J.H. Pierneef, etc.

Warffemius-documents [B4]

These are the personal documents of a former woman member of the President’s Council. She was also a member of the Town Council of Benoni, the Provincial Council etc. It comprises of political documents and minutes of meetings.

Personal Document collections regarding Higher Education

LanguageThis material is available in Afrikaans (50% of documents) and English
UseResearch on Tertiary Education and the Rand Afrikaans University
TypeDocuments of :

J C van der Walt [C6]

G van N Viljoen [C3]

J P de Lange [C2]

P J Meyer [C1]

P M S von Staden [C7]

C J Crouse [C8]


History of UJ and precursor institutions

  • The history of establishing a Faculty of Engineering at RAU [C10]
    Research done.
  • FADA papers [C11]
    Elsabé Brink’s research on the book about the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture at UJ
  • The history of UJ and precursor institutions [C12]
    Elsabé Brink’s research on the book she wrote.