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date: 08 May 2021

Cory Library for Humanities Researchlocked

  • Jeff PeiresJeff PeiresUniversity of Fort Hare

Summary

Cory Library in Makhanda (Grahamstown), South Africa, was established on the basis of historical papers bequeathed by Sir George Cory, a professor of chemistry and enthusiastic amateur historian. Initially characterized by a strong settler and colonial bias, the Library was transformed by the deposit of records from black tertiary institutions threatened by the apartheid “Extension of Universities Education” Act of 1959. These included the valuable manuscripts of the Lovedale Press, which had been, for many years, the sole publisher of books in isiXhosa and other African languages. Civic organizations such as the Black Sash, the End Conscription Campaign, and the Surplus Peoples Project, which sprang up following the Soweto uprising of 1976, likewise deposited their records. The Cory Library thus became a valuable resource for all the peoples of the Eastern Cape, rather than only for its privileged sector.

Its unique and comprehensive collection of books, maps, manuscripts, official documents, and visual representations across all disciplines of all things Xhosa and Eastern Cape make the Cory Library an essential resource for all researchers with interests in this area.

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