31 May 2013

Repatriation of archival materials from the Netherlands complete

Poster produced by the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement (AABN) in 1976. Donated to SAHA by IISH in 2013.

Since early 2013 SAHA has been assisting in the transfer of anti-apartheid posters and other archival materials from the National Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to SAHA and other relevant archives and libraries in South Africa. This process is now almost complete.

SAHA received the shipment of materials in April and was visited by IISH archivist Kier Schuringa at the end of April to check on the safe arrival of material and to track progress on the distribution of the posters, archival materials and books and periodicals to the recipient archives and libraries.

The donation of posters added a further 1763 original posters to the SAHA Poster collection (AL2446), complementing the already extensive collection with posters mainly produced by international solidarity movements from the 1970s to 1990s. Additional poster cabinets were acquired for the preservation of the master and duplicate posters received from IISH.

Museum Africa also received a number of posters from this shipment to expand their existing poster collection at the museum. SAHA arranged for the transfer of other archival materials reserved for the African National Congress (ANC), the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, and UCT.

While a copy of each of the books received from the former Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) library collection has been retained for the development of SAHA's reference collection in the SAHA reading room at Constitution Hill, duplicate copies and periodicals were allocated to requesting libraries on a first come first serve basis. The rich offering of books were snapped up very quickly, with SAHA being responsible for the allocation, packing and distribution of books and periodicals to the Boksburg Library, the National English Literary Museum (NELM), the Tshwane University of Technology Library, Cape Town Central Library, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Library, the Military Academy Reference Library and the North West Province Library Service. 

Appreciation for these donations from IISH was expressed by recipient organisations:

...interesting and valuable information that really needs to be preserved for use by our present students, for reference, as well as for future generations. This is really a good collection...

- Lawrence Maake, Archives Librarian, TUT (Pretoria campus)

Thank you very much for the kind donation of books to Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM): Library and Information Services. Your kind gesture is always appreciated and the donation will be put to good use and will benefit all the citizens of EMM.

- M. W. Ngubeni, Manager: Library and Information Services: Bibliographic and Information Services 


While all the books have been distributed, some of the periodicals are still available for distribution. Archives, libraries and heritage organisations who would like to request periodicals can contact SAHA for a list of available titles.