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Pamphlets and Ephemera

Special Collections has a large collection of South and southern African posters and political ephemera.The collections of political ephemera consist largely of 1- or 2-page broadsheets which were distributed – often illegally – by political groupings in the 1980s and 1990s; there is also material produced during earlier periods. The poster collection includes many South and southern African political posters, as well as posters of a non-political nature.

The collection of posters includes about 1 700 items, mainly from the period of struggle against apartheid, but also featuring a selection of Mozambican posters from the post-independence period. Political ephemera, of which posters may be said to be a subset, are an excellent resource for researching social and political movements and have an immediacy that is extremely evocative.

Most of the posters have been catalogued and may be searched on the Library’s catalogue (Aleph). Uncatalogued posters may be used by researchers by pre-arrangement; please e-mail Mrs Busi Khangala, or contact her by telephone at 021 650 3107. The collection of political ephemera has been organised under headings and these may be searched in a database. Much of the political ephemera has been digitised and will be available on-line in due course.