Published Collections

The African Studies Collection holds published collections of books, films, maps, and posters and provides research and reference resources on Africa, with a strong southern African focus.

Government Publications include historical and current publications for Southern African countries and current publications of most African countries, including French- and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The Rare Books and Antiquarian Collection consists of rare and specialised material, including African children’s literature and a fore-edge painting collection.

Primary Collections

A rich collection of manuscripts and archives offer primary research material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of South Africa, with a focus on the Western Cape. These include personal and professional archival collections in a range of formats.

Audio Visual Archives hold documentary footage from a range of 20th century organisations and filmmakers.

Modern Photographic Archives hold prints and negatives of influential South African photographers.

The Jagger Library and Reading Room Fire
Special Collections had been housed in the Jagger Library until 18 April 2021, when the Reading Room and offices were gutted by a fire that also destroyed collections. Assessing the extent of the losses is a priority project. While the Salvage efforts retrieved a significant amount of material, these are in various stages of remedial conservation and preservation such as digitisation of the AV collection. Follow our Jagger Recovery