Our unpublished materials comprise an extensive collection of original research material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of the Western Cape, as well as regions further afield.
Collection development policy
We collect original research material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of Southern Africa, with a strong focus on the Western Cape. The collections support research by a wide range of scholars whose work relies on primary resource materials.
We collect and preserve original archival collections, in all media.
Our primary responsibility is to serve the research needs of faculty and students at the University of Cape Town. To this end, we seek to collect in subject areas which reflect the major research thrusts of this University.
Collections are acquired on the basis of their value for current and potential future research at this University.
Examples of current collection areas include:
- personal papers of people whose papers constitute an important record of Southern African social history;
- papers of communities not strongly represented in this or other archives;
- corporate papers of non-governmental organizations, companies and institutions;
- personal and research papers of UCT academics;
- non-administrative records relating to the history of UCT;
- UCT student and departmental publications;
- architectural collections;
- papers and records of ethnic and religious communities;
- manuscript music scores and personal papers of South African composers;
- papers relating to labour and trade, and the records of labour unions;
- oral history of South Africa;
- papers and other media associated with important social, historical, or cultural issues or movements; and
- vsual records of social, cultural, or historical importance, such as documentary film and photography.
Types of records collected:
- Photographs (prints, negatives and slides)
- Archival film footage
- Sound recordings
- Digital records
- Prints and drawings
- Artefacts, where they strongly relate to collections
- Artworks, where they strongly relate to collections or are historical records in their own right
We do not accept collections that are closed to public access in perpetuity.