interesting local histories

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interesting local histories

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sep 30, 2012, 4:10pm

I came across a 1980s book on the history of Mossel Bay and this got me thinking about local histories and their collectability. I think these types of books (many pre 1994) on S Africa were done by local municipalities or local churches. Now so often dated in style and assumptions that it really is another era but worth preserving... would be interested in hearing of recommendations for interesting finds.

okt 1, 2012, 4:16am

Hi Kathy - I collect these kind of books - there are some great ones like Amanzimtoti,Phiezantfontein (Loxton), Harding and many others - please let me know if you ever find duplicates

okt 1, 2012, 10:33am

Hi Manlio, I shall indeed watch out for you. I am also interested in ephemera on Jhb. found an interesting magazine/ review type of puplication on the 2002 Jhb world development forum held in Jhb. Can't believe that that was 10 years ago.

okt 24, 2012, 6:51am

When I worked at the Unisa library they seemed to have hundreds of 'eeufees' books - histories little towns had published when they reached their centenary.

okt 24, 2012, 1:08pm

Did UNISA build up a collection ? These local histories are niched in a particular era and viewpoint, but would make a fascinating study of a genre of history. Was there a UNISA interest in church histories ... There is also another context. As churches lose their congregations or amalgamate or move to new areas the buildings end up being recycled and sometimes passed on to new church groups or other religions ..So past history should be captured.

okt 29, 2012, 8:57am

Gosh, I'm sorry - I don't know. Back in the mid 80s the Unisa library had a lot of money and collected just about everything on SA history as a matter of course. Another resource is the Legal Deposit Libraries - I think we have at least two, one in Pretaoria and another in Cape Town, although the Library of Pariament might also be legal deposit.
The University of Pretoria is where one studies for the NG ministry, while Potch is the place to go for for the Doppers. I imagine both Universities would have collections of Church History incorporating just the kind of thing you mention. The thing about Universities is I imagine they are better curators of books and pamphlets than the State libraries - I've heard horrible stories of parcels of books unopened and going mouldy in legal deposit libraries. Who know?

nov 1, 2012, 4:09am

Scary thought ! Its like the SABC archives which were recorded on silicon disks - when Springbok radio closed the disks were given to the provincial road agency as the material made an excellent binder for road surfaces ! Fortunately many people had recorded various programs over the years and have managed to compile a fairly comprehensive list of old sabc programs but the bulk unfortunately - nevermore

nov 1, 2012, 4:12am

Hi - I am helping to market a book by my good friend Milner Snell . The book was only released a few days ago and readers will appreciate the fantastic amount of research that has gone into this publication. If you have ever had anything to do with or even just driven through East Griqualand then you cannot afford to miss out on this great new book. Bear in mind that East Griqualand was defined as all the land between the Umzimkulu and Umtata Rivers but excluding the coast line. Please share this email with your friends to help encourage and promote writings of this calibre on our history.
Price of book is R180 plus R30 postage anywhere in RSA. Alternatively you can pick up a copy if driving through Kokstad- Email me at for further details
250 pages with colour and B/W photos

nov 3, 2012, 4:32am

Hi Manlio, Your SABC story horrifies me . Hope they handle films better. and what about today's TV footage. What is the title of your friends book and authors name ? I have not found any more local histories . but looking . Bookdealers of Melville got in some good books of late and one of latest super purchases is a great book about Stained Glass and art Glass ... One of those to die for big publications. I am starting a new topic about Cartography. bought a second copy of Telford's book on Johannesburg .... Harder to come by ... If you or anyone else wants it ?