UCT Libraries suffered a devastating fire on Sunday 18 April 2021 and we are still assessing the damage and loss. Please note that the library holdings for the African Studies Library, Government Publications, Rare Books and Manuscripts may no longer be accurate.
This fire destroyed the extensive African Film Collection, while the Archival Film collection is still being assessed.
Special Collections houses an extensive African Film Collection as well Archival Film.
The Africa Film Collection comprises over 3,000 Africa-themed documentaries, feature films and shorts, including television series, which have either been made in Africa or have predominantly Africa-related content. It is one of the major collections globally. Most films are already in digital formats, and remaining video tapes are being converted.
Special Collections collects comprehensively on South and Southern Africa and is committed to strengthening and broadening film material from other regions of Africa, to create new research opportunities.
The Archival Film collection includes some 20,000 including 35 and 16 mm film and video. Key collections are the ARD (German public broadcasting corporation) materials on southern Africa from 1984 to 2004, the Community Video Education Trust collection from the 1980s, as well as work by such significant film-makers as Craig Matthew, Lindy Wilson, Liza Key and Mark Kaplan. Special Collections also house a number of film festival collections and orphan works. Special Collections preserves these historic films regardless of format.
* Please note that the films in Special Collections are primarily for viewing by members of the University of Cape Town.