Browse Collections

Ann Sutton Archive

Ann Sutton was a path-finding South African landscape architect whose deafness added to the sensate details of her extraordinary designs. Explore detailed sketches, plans and site documentation, correspondence and press clippings.

Bell Heritage Trust

Charles Davidson Bell, energetic and alert, blessed with an enquiring mind, an ebullient sense of humour and a prodigious artistic talent, was two months short of his seventeenth birthday when he first stepped onto the shores of Table Bay in the spring of 1830.

Bolus Herbarium Collection

In the early 1900s, two artists, Mary Page and Beatrice Carter, were employed by the Bolus Herbarium to illustrate a hugely diverse family of succulent plants, which are almost endemic to Southern Africa. Their delicate, precise and vividly coloured botanical drawings are now freely accessible online.

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Center for Popular Memory

The Centre for Popular Memory’s vast sonic archive is an extraordinary repository of over 3 000 oral history interviews, featuring first-person life histories, testimonies, memories and shared reflections in nine languages. Several of its key collections are now available online – with full transcripts and translations.

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Centre for African Language Diversity

A selection of rare audio recordings made by pioneering South African linguist Ernst Westphal is now available online, bringing several extinct and endangered African languages into public circulation again

Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies

The Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies (CTDPS) digital showcase archive is a developing resource to house the history of the Centre since the UCT Dance and Theatre departments' merger in 2018.

Climate Change & Sustainability Resources

A repository of open access educational support materials focusing on climate change and related topics

Community Arts Project

For researchers interested in the art of resistance and political engagement, the Community Arts Project archive is a rich resource of press clippings, newsletters, minutes and other documents that chart the rocky history of cultural resistance in the Western Cape.

CTDPS 4000H | 2022

A student curated site, developed with fourth-year students from the Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies (CTDPS). As part of a Theatre & Dance Research course, it aimed to shift thinking about methodology for performance research from the technologies of writing to the technologies of performance and its digital archiving.

CTDPS 4000H | 2023

The second student curated site, developed with fourth-years from the Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies (CTDPS). As part of a Theatre & Dance Research course, it aimed to shift thinking about methodology for performance research from the technologies of writing to the technologies of performance and its digital archiving.

Decolonisation of Knowledge Production in Comparative Perspective (South Africa and Brazil): Dialogical Archives Seminar Series

Material generated during the post-graduate seminar series on social transformation between the Centre for African Studies, the San and Khoi Research Unit with Brazilian research and teaching institutes.

Exhibition Histories

Exhibition Histories is aimed at providing documentation and creating related digital archives and displays of exhibitions that have given a public life to aspects of the Bleek and Lloyd Collection.


The Humanitec Digital Showcase, supported by the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Fund, was digitised and curated by the Humanitec / UCT Libraries initiative between 2011 and 2014 and now migrated onto Ibali.

Ian Ford Collection

Ian Ford was a landscape architect with a deep understanding of the internal logics of Cape vernacular architecture. His hand-drawn designs are the epitome of pre-digital elegance and subtle skill.

IsiXhosa Intellectual Traditions (IsiXIT) Digital Archive

Showcase site of a collection of early isiXhosa newspapers.
Run out of the Department of Sociology at UCT (Zimingonaphakade Sigenu, Jonathan Schoots, and Jacques de Wet)

Iziko Rock Art

In a trailblazing collaborative project between UCT and Iziko Museums of South Africa, around 1 000 Rock Art records, relating to sites in the Western Cape, have been digitised.

Jagger Fire & Recovery Collection

On 18 April 2021 the fire that engulfed Table Mountain and across a swathe of the southern suburbs of Cape Town impacted several buildings at UCT. This included the Jagger Library’s Reading Room, which was destroyed by fire. Journey through moments and media captured during the Jagger Library fire salvage and recovery phase.

Lexicons Curated

Lexicons Curated is a satellite site of the offical Digital Bleek and Lloyd archive. It convenes the English to ǀxam dictionary – categorising it into letters, words, dictionary slips.

Malibongwe Women’s Archive

The Malibongwe Women’s Archive is a rare collection of struggle testimonies, music and personal archive by surviving former female political prisoners that documents how they challenged racial discrimination, coped with gender-based violence, and fought for racial equality and human rights during the anti-apartheid struggle (1948-1994).

Mandla Mbothwe's Dream Book

Embracing the moments of served interruptions by pandemics, our journeys are summoned to other beings of those who existed, directed to other detours of tragedies and into the dreams of digital hybrids. This exhibition site is an attempt of Mandla Mbothwe's visual and sonic exploration of hybridising the live into other old and new forms of mythopoesis.

Monica and Godfrey Wilson Collection

A selection of photographs of anthropologists Monica and Godfrey Wilson, relating to their field work among the Nyakyusa people of Tanganyika, the miners in Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia and other aspects of their life and work.

Of Smoke and Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition

A collaboration between the Centre for Curating the Archive, the Michaelis Galleries and the UCT Libraries, the Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition was opened on the one-year anniversary in April 2022 of the devastating fire that destroyed the UCT Jagger Library and its archive. Including material from the Jagger site, Michaelis School of Fine Art graduate art works and UCT's own documentary record of the Salvage Process the exhibition memorialised the loss and commemorated the communal spirit of salvage shown by UCT and the wider Cape Town community.

Olive Schreiner Literary Archive

The visionary South African novelist Olive Schreiner is best known for her early novel, The Story of an African Farm. But until recently not much was known about the rocky genesis of From Man to Man or Perhaps Only – , which might actually be her greatest literary achievement.

Open Access: Adult & Paediatric Uroradiology

Explore a selection of x-rays from the department of Adult & Paediatric Uroradiology.

Percival Kirby Musical Instruments

The internationally recognised Kirby Collection of rare musical instruments, primarily from Southern Africa, is now accessible to composers, sound historians and music lovers across the world.

Physiotherapy Assessments

View medical videos of physiotherapy assessments.

Protest, P/performance, and Tragic Aftermath

This exhibition site collates Dr Carla Lever's research on the connections between creativity and social change. Connecting samples of her oral history interviews with global news articles and cultural artefacts, it explores thematic concerns from her monologue on protest spectacle, as well as showcasing examples of her favoured pedagogical approach around 'serious play'.

Reimagining Tragedy from Africa and the Global South

Comprising oral histories, archival productions, practice-as-research productions and publications, this digital site showcases the living archive of the 5-year research project: Reimagining Tragedy in African and the Global South.

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rePhotoSA is an archival and research project run by the Plant Conservation Unit (Department of Biological Sciences) and hosted by the Digital Library Service (UCT Libraries) at the University of Cape Town. It combines a repository of historical southern African landscape photographs with a citizen science-led project to re-photograph the same views as contained in the original photographs. This approach is called ‘repeat photography’ and a comparison of the matched pair of photographs (historical and repeat) provides an understanding of how the environment has changed and continues to change over time.

Repository on African Law and Society

An accessible thematically-organised online repository of African research and teaching materials. This includes historical books and journals that are out of print and/or copyright, grey materials and research reports, bibliographies and links to contemporary scholarship.

Robert Jacob Gordon Journal Archive

This collection was created to give scholars and interested public access to the raw data of Robert Jacob Gordon’s Journal.Since few people have the opportunity to travel to the Brenthurst Library in Johannesburg to view the original documents, we have reproduced the first transcription of the original Dutch. We have also included Patrick Cullinan’s translation of the Journal, which was produced from a photographic copy made while the diary was still in the Stafford County Library, U.K., before it was acquired by the Brenthurst Library in 1979. No attempt has been made at providing the reader with comments on places, people or events mentioned by Gordon. The reader should consult Raper & Boucher (1988) for such comment. Equally, to situate Gordon’s Journal within its time-frame, the reader is encouraged to refer to Cullinan (1992) for a full biography.

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SAX Appeal Covers

The magazine covers showcase the many changes made to UCT RAG's largest contributor since the first edition, published in 1933, "when men were men and women were so loose they rattled", according to a 1940s SAX Appeal editor. Selling at one shilling and weighing in at 32 pages, the 1933 edition featured cartoons, limericks, an advert for electricity - when many Capetonians were yet to learn the benefits of an electrified city - and an advert for Springbok cigarettes; which, true to the times, featured a confident doctor smoking the product before operating on a scantily-clad woman. Established as a beacon of free speech, the magazine's penchant for ruffling feathers has resulted in several instances of controversy, and two outright bannings, the first leading to the magazine's dissolution for several years.

South African College of Music

Since the early 1980s, the South African College of Music at UCT has been recording its regular live performances at the Baxter Concert Hall and other venues. This hybrid mix of recordings ranges from Opera, to African Music, Jazz and Western Classical, which are all taught at the College.

Talbot Maps

Special Collections has a significant map collection, covering the whole African continent, and including rare and valuable items as well as a variety of atlases. Much of the collection was assembled by the first professor of Geography at UCT, Professor William Talbot.

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The Black Sash

The Black Sash is a non-violent white women's resistance organisation in South Africa. It was founded by Jean Sinclair in 1955. The organisation initially campaigned against the removal of mixed race voters and continued to demonstrate against the Pass Laws and the introduction of other apartheid legislation. Explore select documents and photographs from their archives.

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The Centre for African Studies Archive

Centre for African Studies Archive

The History of UCT Libraries

A timeline of notable events in the history of UCT Libraries.

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The Medicine Chest

Disciplines exercise certain constraints on the objects they study – an effect of undergraduate curricula, discipline-specific taxonomies, and research processes. This website showcases one such object – a small medicine chest housed in the Manuscripts and Archives (M&A) Department of the University of Cape Town. The chest has been rendered invisible in this facility because it exhibits characteristics that fall outside of those privileged by the library’s categorisation system and its search engines. The site addresses this blind spot through incorporating a wide range of novel metadata generated when this object intersected with a range of external disciplines also practiced in this institution. It demonstrates its newfound applicability to these fields, hinting at novel connections waiting to be explored.

The photography of Zubeida Vallie

One of the few women, and probably the only woman of colour, who photographed the Struggle years on the Cape Flats, Zubeida Vallie’s images capture the violence of the times, but also the ‘other stuff’ beyond the headlines.

UCT | Community Media Trust AIDS Archive

For almost thirty years, the Community Media Trust has been documenting the social impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the grassroots struggle for treatment in South Africa. The University of Cape Town is in the process of making this unique film collection available online as the UCT | Community Media Trust AIDS Archive.

UCT School of Dance

UCT School of Dance’s evolving archive houses thousands of photographs, recordings and other artefacts that capture the history of a school and company in motion since 1934.

UCT Tattle

VARSITY is the official student newspaper of the University of Cape Town, since 1942. The newspaper is produced by a collective of dedicated and proactive UCT students, who aim to create an informative and entertaining newspaper covering every aspect of student life, from academics and sports to student political activism and entertainment.

Works of Art Collection

Showcase site of the Works of Art Collection of UCT promoting a vibrant and dynamic visual arts presence by building a collection of works of art in line with the University's vision and mission

ǂKhomani | Hugh Brody Archive

The ǂKhomani | Hugh Brody Archive contains a selection of materials generated from 1997 - 2011 in collaboration with the ǂKhomani people of the southern Kalahari. This material was collected for a UNESCO supported Cultural Heritage Audit, for the purposes of land claims. Substantial evidence was documented. These include photographs, maps, posters, video clips and multilingual transcript files.