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Education Library Guide: School Textbooks & Other Interesting Collections

A guide for Education students

School Textbook Collection

The Chancellor Oppenheimer Library carries a range of South African school textbooks for Grade R - Grade 12.     These include teachers' guides.     The textbooks are shelved in a separate collection in the Research Wing Level 5  and use the prefix WHT.   Accompanying CD-Roms are kept at the Loans Desk. 

The textbooks are currently arranged as below:-

Accounting             WHT 65

Afrikaans               WHT 439.2  or WHT 439.3

Arts and Culture     WHT 75

Business Studies    WHT 65.7

Consumer Studies  WHT 64

Economics and Management Sciences   WHT 33

English         WHT 42.2  or  WHT 42.3

Geography    WHT 91.2  or WHT 91.3

History   WHT 96.2  or WHT 96.3

isiXhosa  WHT 496

Life Orientation  WHT 150

Life Sciences      WHT 57.3

Mathematics       WHT 51

Mathematical Literacy  WHT 51.7

Natural Sciences  WHT 5

Social Sciences  WHT 96

Religious Studies  WHT 2

Technology   WHT 62




Classroom Collection

This collection is shelved separately in the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library in the Research Wing Level 5.   It contains curriculum support material for lesson planning and teaching practice in the form of juvenile fiction and non-fiction.    The prefix for the Classroom Collection is WHJ. 

South African Children's Literature Collection

This collection is found in Special Collections.   

Books published in South Africa from 1989 and exhibited periodically by the Children's Book Forum of the Western Cape make up the core of this collection, apparently the only one of its kind in the country.  The Children's Book Forum was founded in 1987, its aim being to encourage the writing, illustration, publishing and reading of, and research into, children's books in South Africa.  The National Library of South Africa's Centre for the Book in Cape Town,  whose mission it is to 'contribute to the development of reading especially among children', refers researchers to this collection.  

The collection contains many useful texts used in the study of South Africa's languages.  It is consulted by researchers in a number of disciplines such as English, Afrikaans, African Languages and Education,  others researching the sociology of South African childhood as portrayed in children's books, as well as educators, book illustrators, writers and publishers.  The University Libraries'
 Special Collections holds original artwork by South Africa's premier children's book illustrator, Niki Daly, whose books are housed in this collection.

Historical Children's Literature Collection

This collection, also from Rare Books and Special Collections,  contains examples of (mostly, but not exclusively) English literature written for children (including periodical literature) between the 17th century and the mid 20th century, as well as works of critical relevance.  Most of the books in the collection have been acquired by donation, the initial donor being Patricia Ashby Spilhaus.

The collection includes two important mini collections.  The Alice in Wonderland Collection, includes variant editions and parodies of Alice, as well as other works by and about Lewis Carroll.

The nucleus of the Robinson Crusoe Collection was acquired by the University Library from J.W. Perry, one-time Librarian of the University of the Witwatersrand, and subsequently added to by donation or purchase.  It contains variant editions and Robinsonades, books which drew their inspiration from Defoe's story, as well as critical works.

The collection is consulted by researchers in a number of fields, among them those examining the archaeology and sociology of childhood or looking for examples of adventure stories for young people describing their protagonists' interaction with other societies.  Found on its shelves is Theo Gift's Cape Town Dicky, published by Hildesheim & Faulkner, 1888, which describes the experiences in England of young Dicky, sent "home" by his father who is stationed at the Cape. Dicky is to stay with his cousins.  With him is his companion, Usebi.  The coming of the two colonials and their impact on the English family is vividly described.


UCT Libraries is a deposit library for the  International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).   Ignore the prefix WHU as these books are shelved with the general collection.