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UWC-Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archives

University of the Western Cape

The UWC-Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive at the University of the Western Cape consists of unique multimedia collections depicting multiple facets of resistance of the freedom struggle that was waged against apartheid both from within and outside the borders of South Africa.

The core collection comprises the material collected by the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF), which was banned in 1966 and continued its work in London until 1991. After the unbanning of organizations in 1990 and IDAF’s closure, the IDAF collection was relocated to South Africa to form the nucleus of the archives of the pioneering Mayibuye Centre for History and Culture in South Africa, based at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

After the Mayibuye Centre was established in 1992, many activists and activist organizations donated their collections to the Centre. Then, in September 1996, when the South African Cabinet decided to establish the Robben Island Museum as the first official heritage institution of the new democracy, it also recommended that the IDAF/Mayibuye collections be incorporated into the museum. After intensive negotiations, this recommendation was implemented on April 1, 2000, as part of a comprehensive cooperation agreement between the Museum and UWC.

The Mayibuye Archive Collections provide a rich resource for anyone with an interest in exploring the struggles waged against the apartheid system, and it has been used for a wide range of exhibitions, studies, publications, and documentary films over the years.

The Archive is located on the UWC campus within the Main Library and is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture.

Contact Information

University of the Western Cape
UWC Main Library Modderdam Road
Cape Town,
South Africa
+27 (0)21 959 2935

Southern Africa

Year Established

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