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South African History, 1870 to the Present: Primary sources

Primary Sources at Duke

Drum  (paper)  

South African periodical held at Duke's Library Service Center. We have 1959-1978 with a gap between 1967 and 1970

The Star  (microfilm)

   S162 / March 1963 - to date
  In the LSC.

Cape Times (microfilm)
S44/ 1935-2003
In the LSC.

Africa News (print) 1977-1992, with some missing issues
Library Service Center

Africa News Service Archive

In the Rubenstein Special Collections library, finding aid online.

John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African African American Documentation

Rand Daily Mail 1902-1985


Online sources

Struggles for Freedom: South Africa (ALUKA)
Consists of more than 180,000 pages of documents and images, including periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers.

Rand Daily Mail (1902-1985)     A daily  newspaper which covered important happenings in  South Africa.

Apartheid  South Africa 1948-1980   Edited primary resources on  the Apartheid Era-  Includes some report literature

19th Century British Library Newspapers
Contains full runs of 48 newspapers specially selected by the British Library. Includes national and regional newspapers,

Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires Since 1820  includes  South African  women

Provides access to current and retrospective United Nations documents and some publications.

Black Studies Center
Brings together essential historical and current material for researching the past, present and future of African-Americans, the wider African Diaspora, and Africa itself.

Empire online
British Empire full-text documents from the 15th century to the 20th century.

Ethnic Newswatch
Contains the full text of more than 450,000 articles, editorials, and reviews published in nearly 200 ethnic and minority newspapers, magazines, and journals published in the United States. 1960-present.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports
FBIS Daily Reports offer foreign views and perspectives on historical events from thousands of monitored broadcasts and publications.

Guardian and Observer
The Guardian (1821-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003) provide full text of 2 non-establishment British newspapers with extensive coverage of events in South Africa.

Hansard 1803-2004 (British Parliamentary Debates)

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
HCPP includes digital versions of the U.K. House of Commons Sessional Papers from 1688-2004.

Lexis Nexis Academic- now Nexis Uni
Current South African newspapers (click on Sources then use the drop-down menu to choose South Africa)

New York Times 1851-

Times digital archive 1785-1985-   we also have Sunday Times Digital Archive
Full text of The Times  (London.)



Finding Primary sources in the catalog

  • Go to Advanced Search in the online catalog
  • Under Subject  enter "sources," "personal narratives" or "diaries"
  • Under Keywords enter terms related to your topic 
  • Find Subject Headings related to your topic that include words such as "-diaries" or "-personal narratives"
  • Sample subject headings that are applied to primary sources (click on these in the full record to find similar items):
    • South Africa--History--sources