Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa Collection Guide

IIn 2008 the IISH acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands. It concerns the archives and related library and documentary collections of the three former anti-apartheid groups which merged in 1997 into the Netherlands institute for Southern Africa (NiZA; since 2012 ActionAid-Netherlands): the Holland Committee on Southern Africa (previously Angola Comittee), the  Eduardo Mondlane Foundation and the Institute for Southern Africa, as well as its predecessors – the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement and the South Africa Committee. The NiZA collection also includes the archives of the organisation Broadcasting for Radio Freedom, some local groups, the SADWU Supportgroup and individual activists like David de Beer, Willem van Manen and Karel Roskam.

On that stage the IISH already had the archives of the Workinggroup Kairos, the SA/NAM Association, the Defence and Aid Fund Netherlands and the Southern Africa projects of ICCO, as well as various trade union archives with documents on this subject. In the past few years, additional archives were acquired, relating to anti-apartheid and southern Africa solidarity work, such as the papers of Martin Bailey and the archives of the Azania Committee, the National South Africa group of the ABVA-KABO trade union, the Shipping Research Bureau and the Association of West-European Parliamentarians Against Apartheid.

In this way, the IISH developed an extensive and comprehensive anti-apartheid and Southern Africa solidarity collection, which not only includes materials on the Dutch movement but also on and from elsewhere in Europe and South(ern) Africa.  The archives and related collections cover the period from 1950 to 2000. The library and documentation material includes large numbers of books, periodicals, photographs, posters and hundreds of videos, cassettes, badges, flags , T-shirts and other memorabilia. Both the archives and other materials in this collection have been processed in the IISH catalogue.

Almost all the archives in the anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa collectionhave been processed since 2008. The other archives mentioned have been processed only partially; see for more information the detailed overview of the archives in this collection.  The archives and documentation in the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa collection can be accessed through the website (catalogue) and the reading room of the IISH. It is also always possible to ask for the assistance of Kier Schuringa, the archivist of this collection:

These webpages on the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa collection not only provide a description of the archives, documentation and audio-visual materials of the collection, but also feature a section with background information on the Dutch contribution to the international solidarity campaign in support of the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in Southern Africa.  This section includes two comprehensive web dossiers on the anti-apartheid work in The Netherlands from 1948 to 1994 and on the link between Nelson Mandela and The Netherlands. Finally, there is a blog with reports on the various activities with and around these archival materials in and outside The Netherlands.