Fonds A3376 - Sylvester Stein, Collection of publications

Identity area

Reference code



Sylvester Stein, Collection of publications


  • 1951-1989 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

8 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sylvester Stein was one of the first editors of the DRUM magazine from 1955 to 1958.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The collection of publications was deposited at Historical Papers by Sylvester Stein in 2014.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The main body of this collection consists of the original DRUM magazine, including its first number in March 1951, up to 1962.

The publication was started as "The African Drum" by Jim Bailey and Bob Crisp, and soon after only called DRUM. Its prime time were the 1950s under the successive editorship of Antony Sampson, Sylvester Stein and Tom Hopkinson. The staff of Black journalists, known as the "DRUM boys" included writers like Henry Nxumalo ('Mr DRUM'), Can Themba, Lewis Nkosi, Todd Matshikiza, Nat Nakasa, William Modisane, Arthur Maimane, Casey Motsisi and Bessie Head, as well as Es'kia Mphahlele, who was fictor editor and Dolly Rathebe. The photographers working for DRUM at the time included Jürgen Schadeberg, Bob Gosani, Peter Magubane, Ernest Cole and Alf Khumalo.

DRUM's golden era came to an end towards the end of 1950s, after the Sophiatown removals and many of its writers going into exile overseas or having died tragically, like Henry Nxumalo who was murdered in Johannesburg in 1957.

DRUM covered topics ranging from news from the African continent and politics to sport, scouting, crime, culture, art, music and fashion, including fiction writing and photography, as well as extensive advertising.

The DRUM magazine was distributed in different regions throughout Africa, and this collection includes issues published for its readership in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana (West Africa) and East Africa.

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Conditions governing reproduction

For reproductions from the DRUM magazines permission has to be obtained from the Bailey African History Archive (BAHA).

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Notes area


Some issues were missing when the collection was deposited with Historical Papers, and these are indicated in the listing of the collection.

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