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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Africana collections in South Africa
Author:Hart, LesleyISNI
Periodical:African Research and Documentation
Geographic terms:Africa
South Africa
Subjects:African studies collections
university libraries
Abstract:Like most other libraries in most other countries, libraries in South Africa with significant Africana collections are battling with a lack of funds. In her paper the author concentrates mainly on the University of Cape Town, especially the African Studies Library. One of the most interesting changes for librarians with academic collections in South Africa is that they have had to adjust to the fact that South Africa is now an African country, which has meant a shift in emphasis in the collection policies. Even with their new status they have problems in obtaining publications (especially of the grey variety) from other African countries. Another problem which they have to face is the 'new colonialism', that is collectors from the First World with great purchasing power coming in and buying up African collections. South Africa has recently lost the Nadine Gordimer and Athol Fugard collections. A more recent issue is access to important records like those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and then making these more accessible to the general public. One major contribution which Africana libraries have been able to make is to the recording and preservation of the heritage of South Africa. The University of Cape Town has several such projects like the Centre for Popular Culture and the District Six Museum. It also has an active acquisitions policy for manuscripts, archives, and photographs. Another of its initiatives in the Contemporary African Music and Arts Archive (CAMA), which also possesses a database of music from across the continent. At the moment one of its most interesting tasks is a project using !Kung texts collected by Dr Bleek and Lucy Lloyd 130 years ago and comparing them with stories being told among largely Afrikaans-speaking !Kung living at Schmidtsdrift. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]