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Arthur Aaron Boss

  • ZA HPRA A1631
  • Fondo
  • 1879

Arthur Aaron Boss (1861-1955) was a soldier and stockbroker. His diary, dated 22 February - 29 June 1879, relates to the campaign against Chief Morosi, the taking of the mountain and death of the Chief which resulted in the decline of the Baphuti tribe. It is accompanied by a plan of the mountain, a typscript of the diary by Dr P.H. Butterfield (30 pages) and an article on the campaign in The Star, 29 June 1929. The original can be found in the Johannesburg Public Library.

Johannesburg Public Library

  • ZA HPRA A1913
  • Fondo
  • 1902 - 1950

The clippings cover a great variety of subjects including education, health, arts, housing, roads, traffic, race relations, Johannesburg City Council, to name a few.

Catherine Higgs

  • ZA HPRA A1749
  • Fondo
  • 1984

Hon. Thesis by Catherine Higgs, entitled "The political thought and career of Edgar H. Brookes", submitted to the Department of History, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, 1984.

Charles Cowen Papers

  • ZA HPRA A182
  • Fondo
  • 1851 - 1896

The Cowen Papers consist of correspondence, sketches, notes, photographs and printed items. They were collected together during the years 1894-1896 by Cowen, who was anxious to discover the true history of the massacre of the Tyumie (sometimes written Chumie) Valley military settlers during the so called 8th "Kaffir War" of 1850-1852. The Gaikas were enraged against the military settlers because they were occupying their favourite land and this ill-feeling increased when the military settlers seized Gaika cattle trespassing on their land and when the Gaikas thought that Chief Tyali's grave had been desecrated. On Christmas Day 1850 the Gaikas under Chief Sandile (1823-1878) attacked the military settlers, wiping out all at Woburn, killing all the men at Auckland but allowing the women to escape and burning Juanasberg, from which the settlers had escaped. Cowen had written to missionaries, government servants and military men who had been present during the massacre in an attempt to find the true facts.

The papers reveal a surprising divergence in the stories of certain individuals. In particular the account of Captain J.M. Stevenson, formerly superintendent of Juanasberg, differed substantially from the stories of the missionaries. As part of his enquiry Cowen published in 1896 a pamphlet by J.M. Stevenson, with a preface written by himself, entitled Tyumie Valley Massacres. This pamphlet had wide margins to allow for comments by the readers. Other correspondents included Captain G. Armytage, 1st Superintendent at Woburn, A.W. Baker, Civil Commissioner, Alice, W.B. Chalmers, Civil Commissioner, King Williams Town, The Rev. J.F. Cumming, missionary at Gwali, W. Dewey, editor of the Alice Times and J.B. Liefeldt, Inspector of Natives, Victoria East.

The papers contain interesting accounts by missionaries and soldiers who survived the massacre and there are photographs of contemporary sketches of various localities in the Tyumie Valley. Their provenance is not known, other than that they were part of the original Gubbins collection of Africana. Another Cowen item, a copybook, was destroyed by fire at the University of the Witwatersrand in December 1931.

Cowen, Charles

Katlehong Township, Records

  • ZA HPRA A1880
  • Fondo
  • 1939 - 1976

The collection contains Correspondence, reports, memoranda, minutes and bursary applications relating to finance, health, education, juvenile delinquency, unemployment and the administration of the township. It also includes Advisory Board and Management Committee minutes and correspondence. Other organisations involved are the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, National Development Foundation, South African Institute of Race Relations, South African Bureau of Racial Affairs and the Transvaal Municipal Association.

Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) records

  • ZA HPRA AH1999
  • Fondo
  • 1939 - 1986

This inventory (no.17) describes the Records of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) and covers the years 1939-1986.
The records inventoried pertain mainly to FOSATU (1977-1986) as well as to the South African Trades and Labour Council (1939-1954), The Trade Union Advisory and Co-ordinating Council (1974-1979), Central Administration Services (1973-1984), and the Institute for Industrial Education (1973-1980).

The records are of considerable interest to the historian, the industrial sociologist and the student of politics. There is much about the internal organisation of FOSATU including the activities of its committees, its education projects, its affiliates, its dealings with overseas labour organisations, as well as other trade union bodies and non-trade union organisations. Subjects covered are: the rise of black trade unionism, labour legislation, 'racial registration' recognition agreements, health and safety, working conditions, strikes, and trade union unity.

The records are classified into separate national bodies. They are further sub-divided into the broad categories of national organisation, regional and special topics. The records are separated by form into minutes, reports, memoranda, correspondence, printed items and press cuttings. A brief history of FOSATU, comprehensive index of all personal names and selected subject fields, and a table of the development of black trade unions from 1972-1984 have been provided.


AAWU - African Allied Workers Union.

AFCWU - African Food and Canning Workers Union.

DAMCWC - Black Allied Mining and Construction Workers Union.

BAWD - Black Allied Workers Union.

BC - Black Consciousness.

BEEWU - Black Electronics and Electrical Workers' Union.

BMWU - Black Mine Workers Union.

CCAWUSA - Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union.

CCOIITU - Consultative Committee of Black Trade Unions.

CIWW - Council of Industrial Workers of the Witwatersrand.

CTMWA - Cape Town Municipal Workers' Association.

CUSA - Council of Unions of South Africa.

CWII - Chemical Workers Industrial Union.

EAWU - Engineering & Allied Workers Union.

FTWU - Furniture and Timber Workers Union.

FWN - FOSATU Workers News.

GAWU - General and Allied Workers' Union.

GFWBF - General Factory Workers Benefit Fund.

GWU - General Workers Union.

IAS - Industrial Aid Society.

IAWUSA - Insurance and Assurance Workers Union.

ICFTU - International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

IIE - Institute for Industrial Education.

JGU - Jewellers & Goldsmiths Union.

JLDF - Joint Legal Defence Fund.

MACWUSA - Motor Assembly and Component Workers' Union.

MAWU - Metal and Allied Workers Union.

MGWUSA - Municipal and General Workers' Union.

MWASA - Media Workers' Association of South Africa.

NAAWU - National Automobile and Allied Workers Union.

NFBW - National Federation of Black Workers.

NFW - National Federation of Workers.

NGWU - National General Workers Union.

NSIEU - National Sugar Industrial Employees Union.

NUTW - National Union of Textile Workers.

RAWU - Retail and Allied Workers Union.

SAAWU - South African Allied Workers Union.

SALB - South African Labour Bulletin.

SFAWU - Sweet Food & Allied Workers Union.

TGWU - Transport and General Workers Union.

TUACC - Trade Union Advisory and Co-ordinating Council.

TUCSA - Trade Union Council of South Africa.

TWP - Transvaal Workers Project.

UAW - United Automobile Workers.

UBJ - Union of Black Journalists.

UTP - Union of Black Journalists.

WPMAWU - Western Province Motor Assembly Workers Union.

WPWAB - Western Province Workers Advisory Board.

Note: Diagram of Black Trade Union Development 1972-1984 not reproduced.

Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU)

Swiss Mission in South Africa

  • ZA HPRA A1379
  • Fondo
  • 1876 - 1896

UNISA Documentation Centre for African Studies, May 1981.

The documents of the accession, totalling 118 pages, relate to the early work of the two missionaries in Valdezia between 1874 and 1899 and give an insight into the difficulties and hardships of early missionary life in Southern Africa of that period.

There is an extensive and almost complete set of correspondence (including copies and translations) and other documents in connection with the missionaries' requests to the authorities, namely of the Transvaal Republic, for permission to "preach the gospel to the heathen" of the Spelonken area. The request was refused in spite of the fact that the Church already owned a farm in Valdezia. Later after the two men had been taken to Marabastad and kept prisoner there for a considerable time for ignoring the orders from the State Secretary to cease their activities, permission was eventually granted to do missionary work - but only on their own farm! So the battle for recognition continued. Of special interest here is the 'Declaration' of the 'Commission des Missions' of October 1876 and a copy/translation of a letter from the President of the Swiss Confederation asking for the same rights to be given to Rev. Creux and Berthoud as to other missionaries of "friendly nations".

There is further considerable correspondence between Creux and the 'Commissaris naturellen' re various troubles concerning the local inhabitants in connection with work, taxes and warfare with chiefs Modjadji and Magato. Other letters deal with diseases and the need for vaccine, gifts of fruit, milk and meat. Documents concerning Albasini, 'Commissioner over the Natives of Spelonken' and 'Knopneus kaptein,' are kept separately.

All letters are, except where indicated, handwritten and in the original. They are in English, French and Dutch with a few in Tsonga.

The spelling of names of places and persons are given as they appear in the documents and therefore varies.

Swiss Mission

Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, Photographs

  • ZA HPRA A1384
  • Fondo
  • 1914 - 1916

5 Photographs including the deputation of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) to England in 1914; Sol Plaatje in England and Canada in 1921; and two unidentified and undated groups including Sol Plaatje.

Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

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