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Liberation Archives


The constitution of the ISI mandates the institute to host a comprehensive archive on the broader liberation movement. Currently these archives are fragmented and hosted by various entities at several sites, locally and abroad. This project aims to, in the first instance, develop a single portal to access all the sites, with an overarching search engine across all sites. In the second instance, it will actively search and gather material not yet lodged at an archive. Thirdly, it will create its own material for lodging in its own institutional archive. The ‘Liberation Archives’ will be promoted as a primary source of information of the liberation movement. It could be accessed by the general public for research purposes, including scholars and students who regularly need such information for projects. Similarly, it will be geared to be used as a source of information for public promotion and civic information purposes.


The ANC Archives website has been set up specifically to facilitate research into the 100 year history of the African National Congress, the oldest liberation movement in the World.


Bodleian Libraries - Archive of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) archive contains material from its the beginnings of the Movement in the late 1950s as the Boycott Committee to a few years after is dissolution in 1994 and the creation of its successor organisation, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA). The archive contains minutes, papers and correspondence of the Executive and National Committees , as well as similar material from the other sub-committees formed. There are papers relating to the AAM's relations with the British Government, political parties, international organisations and local anti-apartheid groups in the UK and overseas, and material created in the course of its campaigns. The archive contains a significant number of posters, photographs, artworks and badges, and some other objects.


Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Forward to Freedom tells the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and its campaigns to support the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. The AAM also campaigned for freedom for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, and against South Africa’s attacks on its neighbours. 


Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past, and today, is the home to the country’s Constitutional Court.

The online exhibition and curated archive tells the known and unknown stories of the making and working of the South African Constitution. It curates the rich archival history of constitution-making in our country.


The International Institute of Social History in the Netherlands, serves science and society on a global scale. At an international level they generate and offer reliable information and insights about the origins, effects and consequences of social inequality.
Gain access here to their Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa Collection


Liliesleaf is one of South Africa’s foremost national heritage sites. Between 1961 and 1963, Liliesleaf served as the secret headquarters and nerve centre of the ANC, SACP, Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Congress Alliance.

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Physical Archives not yet digitised


Bodleian Libraries - Archive of the Bishop Ambrose Reeves Trust.

Comprises: South Africa Racial Amity Trust (SARAT), 1965-85; Bishop Ambrose Reeves Trust (BART) minutes and publications, 1980-96; conferences and projects, 1987-93; and general files, 1974-95.


Bodleian Libraries - Archive of End Loans to Southern Africa.

Comprises of publications, memoranda, correspondence, minutes, confrence papers, and papers relating to the End Loans to Southern Africa (ELTSA) campaign. Material dates from 1974 to 1995.


Bodleian Libraries - Archive of Ronald Press.

Papers of Ronald Press concerning his life as an activist and trade unionist in South Africa and in exile in Britain. The papers include certificates, correspondence and articles by Press on subjects including science, Marxism, trade unionism, Southern African politics and his work for Umkhonto we Sizwe. There are also some photographs, video tapes and badges and some papers relating to trade unions and World War I from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Bodleian Libraries - Correspondence and papers of Archbishop Trevor Huddleston.

Correspondence and papers relating to Huddleston's work, the organisations in which he was involved, and his friends and colleagues. Included are sermons, speeches, photographs, audio-visual material and newspaper cuttings.

There is also correspondence and papers collected by Joe Rogaly, Eric James and Robin Denniston (Huddleston's biographers) and Ernest and Lorna Huddleston (Huddleston's father and stepmother).


Bodleian Libraries - Papers of Howard Barrell.

Research material collected by Barrell for his DPhil thesis, comprising transcripts of interviews with ANC leaders and members, and documents by or about the ANC which in Barrell's opinion are rare; with list of material taken from his bibliography.


Bodleian Libraries - Papers of the Namibia Support Committee.

  1. Minutes and papers of policy-making bodies, 1981-1993

  2. Records relating to the Committee's London administration, including minutes, accounts, funding applications, correspondence, papers relating to staff and membership, press releases and reports, [1981-1993]

  3. Records of the Campaign Against Namibian Uranium Contracts (CANUC), including minutes, funding applications, correspondence, reports, papers relating to particular campaigns and events, and publications, [1977-1992]

  4. Campaign reports, minutes, publications, photographs, etc. relating to the SWAPO Women's Solidarity Campaign (SWSC), 1980-1991

  5. Campaign leaflets, correspondence, photographs, etc. relating to the Health Collective, 1977-1989

  6. Papers relating to the Release All Political Prisoners campaign, with lists of Namibian political prisoners, 1984-1986

  7. Reports, minutes, leaflets, etc. relating to the Trade Union Group, 1977-1991

  8. Papers relating to other campaigns and projects, 1980-1993

  9. Papers relating to national events organised by the Committee, 1980-1992

  10. Publications and related papers, 1979-1993

  11. Memoranda, correspondence, reports, minutes, posters, etc. produced by and relating to local Namibia Support Groups, 1986-1991

  12. Minutes, correspondence, etc. relating to inter-agency campaigns with Committee representation, 1988-1992

  13. Papers of other British and international organisations, 1977-1992

  14. Papers of other Namibian organisations, c1969-1993

  15. Photographs, [1967-1991]

  16. Merchandise and banners, 1970s-1990s


Bodleian Libraries - Papers of Stephen Clingman relating to Bram Fischer, c.1908-c.1998.

The collection comprises papers relating to the Fischer family (boxes 1-19), papers relating to legal and political cases in which Bram Fischer was involved (boxes 20-21) and papers relating to Bram Fischer's trial, illness and death (boxes 22-25).

Box 4 contains a guide and background to the archive compiled by Yvonne Malan, including an explanation of abbreviations and a list of prominent people appearing in the archive. Yvonne Malan has also translated some of the material in Afrikaans and the translations can be found in the relevant boxes.

Note: The papers are mainly photocopies of correspondence and newspaper cuttings.

More to come, watch this space!

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