Aluka is an international, collaborative initiative building an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. Our name, ‘Aluka’, is derived from a Zulu word meaning ‘to weave’, reflecting Aluka’s mission to connect resources and scholars from around the world.
Aluka seeks to attract high-quality scholarly content about Africa from institutions and individuals across the globe. By contributing their collections to the Aluka platform, content owners will have a means of offering access to their collections to an international audience—without having to develop and support their own technology platforms. Aluka’s web-based platform provides powerful tools for research, teaching, collaboration, and knowledge exchange.
The National Library of South Africa is a custodian and provider of the nation's key knowledge resources, mandated by the National Library of South Africa Act to collect and preserve published documents and make them accessible to ensure that knowledge is not lost to posterity and that information is available for research.
The National Library's collections contain a wealth of information, and include rare manuscripts, books published in South Africa, periodicals, government publications, official foreign publications, maps, technical reports, Africana and newspapers. Many of these are available on CD or microfilm, in digital format or accessible online.
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg established Historical Papers in 1966. They are a unique, and accessible hub for human rights research situated in the William Cullen Library of the University of the Witwatersrand serving civil society as well as scholars and researchers.
Over 3000 separate collections of historical, political and cultural importance are housed in Historical Papers, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in Southern Africa. Historical Papers tries to promote archival awareness and debate nationally and provides advice to NGOs, CBOs and trade unions on the management and preservation of their non-current records.
The University of Cape Town’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives has an extensive collection of original search material relating to the political, social, cultural and economic history of the Western Cape. Subjects covered include art, music, education, literature and language, botany, politics and architecture.
Their collections include: personal and corporate papers, important collections of Victorian and late 20th century architectural plans of buildings in Cape Town, a large collection of historical photographs, oral history collection collections, papers and record books of some of the Jewish Communities in the Cape, also papers of some prominent Jewish citizens of the Cape, papers, pamphlets and photographs relating to UCT, as well as student and departmental publications and a South African music collection, containing manuscript scores of several South African composers.
The Cory Library at Rhodes University in Grahamstown is situated in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The Library collects material of all kinds to support research into the history of Southern Africa.
Their aim has been to build up a strong subject collection where format and medium are secondary to the subject needs of the researcher in Southern African history and a wide range of cognate fields. Collections include manuscripts and other documents, Cape and other Government publications, rare and modern books, periodicals and newspapers, maps, pictorial materials, microforms, video and audio recordings, and digital records.
The Library’s archival holdings are particularly strong in the fields of Southern African history, including Xhosa history, mission and church history, the history of education and mining, commercial and agricultural history, and it has a strong collection of material on Lesotho. Since the initial deposit of Sir George Cory’s collections there has been a particular focus on the history of the Eastern Cape, and on Grahamstown itself.
The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting and promoting greater access to archival holdings that relate to past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.
SAHA aims to: Recapture lost and neglected histories; record aspects of South African history in the making; bring history out of the archive and into schools, universities and communities in new and innovative ways and extend the boundaries of freedom of information in South Africa.
SAHA's collections comprise documents, posters, photographs, ephemera and oral histories relating primarily to the anti-apartheid struggle, including significant collections on the UDF, the TRC, resistance art and SAHA's work around truth recovery using freedom of information legislation in South Africa.
The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa was established by promulgation of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No 43 of 1996 as amended). This piece of legislation transformed the former State Archives Service into a National Archives and Records Service whose mission, functions and structures reflect the South African democratic political order and imperatives. In essence, the mission of the National Archives and Records Service is to foster a national identity and the protection of rights by preserving a national archival heritage for use by the government and people of South Africa and by promoting efficient, accountable and transparent government through the proper management and care of government records.