- 1966- (Accumulation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
The Historical Papers research archive, situated in the William Cullen Library, was established in 1966. Its first holdings were the Jan Hofmeyr collection and the Gubbins collection as well as manuscripts which were transferred from the Africana section in the William Cullen Library.
It has since become one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in Southern Africa. We house over 3300 collections of historical, political and cultural importance, encompass the mid 17th Century to the Present.
The 1st and 2nd editions of the Guide were produced in 1967 and 1970 respectively by the late Isaac Isaacson; the 3rd edition in 1975, the 4th edition in 1983, the 5th edition in 1986 and the 6th edition in 1991 were compiled by Anna M. Cunningham; the 7th edition by Michele Pickover in 1993 and the 8th to 11th editions by Carol Archibald and Michele Pickover. Further additions have been made by Gabriele Mohale from the 12th edition onwards.
The first three editions of the Guide were arranged alphabetically. From the 4th edition onwards arrangement of the Guide has been by accession order. The first three editions of the Guide also included the description of the archives of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. These archives are now described in a separate publication which accounts for the missing numbers in the Guide. Access to the Guide from the 11th edition is facilitated by a comprehensive index of personal names and subject fields mentioned in the Guide.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This Guide provides an overview of all collections at the Historical Papers Research Archive, excluding the archive of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, which has its own Guide. The descriptions are provided on Fonds level.
The collections housed at Historical Papers include diaries, letters, memoranda, reports, minute-books, press clippings, pamphlets, photographs, drawings, oral interviews, trial transcripts and financial, legal and personal documents.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arrangement of the entries is by Collection number. The missing numbers in the numerical sequence relate to the collections in the archive of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, which are described in the Guide to the Archives of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), see HP2.
Entries are under the name of an individual or an organisation or the first name of a title or subject. For persons a brief biological note has been supplied, including dates of birth and death where these could be ascertained. Other information includes the nature of the material, inclusive dates, the extent of an item or collection, names of chief correspondents and important subjects covered. Also included in the collection description is an indication if an inventory or calendar is available. Such inventory can then be accessed in AtoM under its respective collection number (Identifier) . Most collections though have no further inventory.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
The Guide to the Historical Papers Collections has been compiled and is subject to copyright by the Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Other Finding Aids at the Historical Papers Research Archive:
HP2 - Guide to the Anglican Church Collections
HP3 - Guide to Historical Papers Photographs
HP4 - Guide to Digitised Audio Visual material
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Digital object metadata