South Africa Archives and Libraries

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South Africa > Archives and Libraries

National Archives and Record Service

The National Archives and Records Service (NARS) provides for the management and care of the government records and for the preservation and use of a national archival heritage.

This online resource provides a National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System which contains records of genealogical value.

Independent Archives

Historical Papers is one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in Southern Africa. Over 3300 collections of historical, political and cultural importance, encompassing the mid 17th Century to the Present


University College London

The University College London contains the following database: Legacies of British Slave-ownership. It is a database of those paid after being forced to free slaves in 1833. Although the site refers to "British Slave Ownership", searching the database shows all claims by residents of the South Africa cape colony.

Cody Library

The Cody Library is located on Rhodes University campus in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. The library has a large collection of genealogical materials, including the following:

  • Complete set of the Graham's Town Journal from 1831 to 1920, all in hardcopy with the exception of 1853-1857 which is available on microfilm. After 1920 the Grahamstown Journal was incorporated in the variously titled Grocott's Penny/Daily Mail.
  • The newspaper Grocott's Mail is still published in Grahamstown twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. The Cody Library holds the archival hardcopy set of the Grocott's Mail from its inception in 1872 to date as well as sets of other Grahamstown and district newspapers.
  • Archives (including church registers) of, inter alia, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the Diocese of Grahamstown (Church of the Province of Southern Africa) and the Eastern Cape Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.
  • Registers for some Congregational, Roman Catholic and Baptist Churches as well as marriage registers for the Grahamstown Hebrew Congregation.