Collection News / Penn Libraries / Van Pelt

Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980 – UK Foreign Office documents collection

Adam Matthew Digital has released the first part of its new British government documents collection, Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1980.

Part 1, 1948-1966 provides page-image reproductions of British Foreign Office, Colonial Office, and Dominion Office documents held at the National Archives (UK), starting with the election of the National Party to power in 1948 through the assassination of Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd.

Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1980 offers British government memoranda and reports, official and unofficial correspondence, pamphlets, booklets, and newspaper cuttings, trial and court case documents, reports of meetings, investigations, and surveys, biographical profiles, economic analyses, and other materials. Each document has searchable metadata identifying title and National Archives (UK) reference, and key people, places, and topics covered by the document. Documents have searchable fulltext, although handwritten annotations will not be searchable.

Part 1, 1948-1966, covers British reports on the South African government’s policy and legislation of racial segregation and the establishment of “homelands”, the emerging liberation movements in Southern Africa, the UN isolation of South Africa and South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth, the Sharpeville Massacre and the Rivonia trial of Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders.

Part 2, 1967-1975 and Part 3, 1976-1980 will be released during the 2014-2015 school year. Apartheid South Africa, 1948-1980 is intended to contain complete runs of these National Archives (UK) files for the relevant years:

The collection also includes specific selected files on South Africa from:

We welcome questions and observations about this mammoth primary source collection.


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