1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
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 to the Historical Papers archive from the Africana section in the William Cullen Library.
Historical Papers has since become one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in Southern Africa, based in Gauteng. We house over 3400 collections of historical, political and cultural importance, encompassing the mid 17th Century to the Present.
Our primary aim is to provide custodianship to South Africa's heritage, which we hold in trust. In doing so we strive to serve the University and civil society, and to transform archives into accessible and transparent institutions. Historical Papers tries to promote archival awareness and debate, nationally and internationally, drawing on the collections in our holdings. We also provide advice to other heritage institutions and communities on the management and preservation of their records. In this way we help to build the capacity of organisations, communities and individuals, through the sharing of knowledge on technical issues such as digitalization and basic techniques for organising and preserving materials.
Our archive holds the records of individuals and collectives, with a wide and diverse scope spanning, from early colonial history, to all aspects of governance, religion and genealogy, health, the arts, culture and traditions, anti-Apartheid resistance, and the post-1994 South Africa, to attempt naming a few. The collections include the personal papers of individuals, many of which have shaped South Africa's past and present, and of collectives, such as human rights NGOs, trade unions, political parties, women's organizations, large volume of political trials, the Anglican Church and other religious bodies, cultural institutions, the papers of human rights activists, artists, photographers and other cultural workers, as well as civil society movements and organizations. The collections housed at Historical Papers consist of diaries, letters, memoranda, reports, minute-books, press clippings, pamphlets, photographs, drawings, maps, oral interviews, trial transcripts, and financial, legal, and personal documents. They are contained in various formats such as paper-based records, microfiche, microfilm, photographs, slides, negative and positive film, tapes, DVD and CDs, audiovisual formats, and digital formats.
ARCHIVAL GUIDES - http://historicalpapers-atom.wits.ac.za/hp
We are open Monday-Friday, 8.00-17.00 (in line with the opening hours of the William Cullen Library)