UCT Library Collections

UCT Libraries Digital Collections represent a selection of material available through UCT’s archival holdings, primarily held in UCT Libraries Special Collections. It also includes UCT departmental collections, gathered through academic field recordings and primary data collation, which have been deposited in the Library.

Featured Sites

Jagger Fire & Recovery Collection

On 18 April 2021 the fire that engulfed Table Mountain destroyed the Jagger Library's Reading Room. Journey through moments and media captured during the Jagger Library fire salvage and recovery phase.

The History of UCT Libraries

Explore a timeline of notable events in the history of UCT Libraries.

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. Explore some of the video clips.

Showcase Sites

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.

Bell Heritage Trust

Housed in the University of Cape Town’s Special Collections are the paintings of Charles Davidson Bell (1813 – 1882). Explore a selection of his paintings of Southern African from the 19th century.

Center for Popular Memory

The Centre for Popular Memory’s archive contains over 3 000 oral history interviews. Explore a selection of first-person life histories, testimonies, memories and shared reflections in nine languages.

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.

Community Arts Project

The Community Arts Project archive is a rich resource of press clippings, newsletters, minutes and other documents. Explore the rocky history of cultural resistance in the Western Cape.


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. Explore his hand-drawn designs which are the epitome of pre-digital elegance.

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. Explore a selection of photographs.

Olive Schreiner Literary Archive

Explore Olive Schreiner's 1876–77 Ratel Hoek Journal, 1886–87 manuscript fragments, 1901 manuscript and 1911 typescript (with manual emendations).

Talbot Maps

Explore the UCT map collection, assembled by the first professor of Geography, Professor William Talbot, covering the whole African continent, and including rare and valuable items.

The Black Sash

The Black Sash is a non-violent white women's resistance organisation which fought against the Pass Laws and the introduction of other apartheid legislation. Explore documents and photographs from their archives.

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’.

Collection Sites

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, and other aspects of their work.

Robert Jacob Gordon Journal Archive

This collection was created to give public access to the raw data of Robert Jacob Gordon’s Journal. Explore the first transcription of the original Dutch as well as Patrick Cullinan’s translation.

SAX Appeal Covers

The magazine covers showcase the many changes made to UCT RAG's largest contributor since the first edition, published in 1933.

Tony Grogan Cartoons

Explore a selection of work by Tony Grogan, a cartoonist, illustrator and artist living in Cape Town.

UCT Photography Collection

Explore a selection of photography work available through the holdings of UCT Collections.


VARSITY is the official student newspaper of the University of Cape Town, since 1942. Explore some of its early editions.

William and Yvonne Jacobson Digital Africana Program at UCT

The William and Yvonne Jacobson Digital Africana Program, an initiative between the UCT and Stanford University, makes available online a selection of the African historical maps held in UCT Libraries.

ǂKhomani San | Hugh Brody

The ǂKhomani San | Hugh Brody Archive contains a selection of materials generated during 15 years of work with the San of the southern Kgalagadi, including photographs, videoclips and transcripts.