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UWC Library Researcher Support: Special Collections

About Special Collections

The mission of Special Collections is to support UWC in fulfilling its research, teaching and learning goals by collecting, preserving and making accessible primary resource material of unique and enduring research value to graduates, faculty and other researchers.

 

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The collection holds a valuable assortment of books and pamphlets which are a mine of information for researchers in particular areas of South African socio-political history. The collection continues to grow by means of buying relevant new books and soliciting donations from donors. For more information on donating to the Special Collections, contact Ms Z Cekiso on: x2916/zcekiso@uwc.ac.za

Services & Access

The following services and facilities are available within Special Collections:

  • Reference Services: Special Collection staff provides reference services at the reference desk on Level 12. Staff assists users with identifying and locating material of interest and answering questions about holdings. Orientation is given to outside groups. It includes general information about the collection and how to use the collection effectively.
  • Donations: Should you wish to provide a donation  to Special Collections, please contact zcekiso@uwc.ac.za
  • Photocopying: All photocopying of material is subject to copyright regulations. A photocopy machine is available on this level.
  • Displays: The staff are pleased to coordinate themed displays or exhibitions by special arrangement.

Access to Special Collections

Material housed in Special Collections can be accessed by means of the UWC online catalogue. It is a closed-access collection restricted to in-house use only.

Please Note: To safeguard the unique collection researchers are obliged to comply with the reading room rules. No bags are allowed in the reading room area. Please only use a pencil when taking notes from a Special Collections book. A student or staff card must be presented to the Librarian when material is requested.

 Operating Hours

Special Collections section is situated on Level 12 of the UWC Main Library and is open: Monday through Friday: 08h20 - 16h30. After hours requests for special collection material will be handled by the staff on duty at the Circulation Desk on Level 5.

Overview

The UWC Special Collections:

Holds a valuable assortment of books and pamphlets which are a mine of information for researchers in particular area of South African socio-political history. The collection continues to grown by means of buying relevant new books and soliciting donations from important donors. The collections include:

Africana Collection

The term Africana refers to materials, such as books, documents, or art objects, relating to the history or culture of African peoples.  In the case of UWC the Africana Collection focuses on works dealing with sub-Saharan Africa. The collection concentrates on historical and heritage studies, arts, fauna and flora, biographies and theology.

Allen Isaacman African Studies Collection

This is a collection by Prof Allen Isaacman, an internationally renowned African Studies scholar, who donated his extensive library of materials on Lusophone Africa, probably the largest privately owned collection. This remarkable collection of books and serials represents the concentrated and systematic gathering of both currently available and scarce out of print publications for more than 40 years. Its primary concentration is on Mozambique. Strong coverage for other states in Southern Africa provides access to similar topical coverage in the social, political sciences and history.

District Six Collection

In 1965, the apartheid government swooped on District Six, Cape Town, forcibly removing its occupants and declaring the area a “whites-only” zone, the rich fabric of an impoverished but vibrant community was torn to shreds. The District Six Collection provides an impressive collection of historical materials, books, newspaper clippings and studies of District Six.

Inaugural Lectures

This collection contains inaugural addresses delivered by professors at UWC and also some from other universities in South Africa.

Useful Links

The following websites provide relevant information on South Africa's History and access to South African Government Publications