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IFLA Satellite Meeting

This one-day satellite meeting will highlight the management and promotion of African special collections using the Bleek and Lloyd Collection[1] as an introduction and conceptual framework for further discussion.


Friday, August 14, 2015


09h30 - 16h30


Centre for African Studies Gallery, Oppenheimer Building, University of Cape Town Upper Campus

Local organiser:

Renate Meyer

IFLA Satellite pre conference meeting: Managing and Promoting Special Collections in Africa: The Bleek-Lloyd Collection and Beyond   

Programme: 14 August 2015, 09h30 – 16h30

Centre for African Studies Gallery, Oppenheimer Building, Upper campus, University of Cape Town

Chair: David Farneth (USA, Getty Research Institute)

Registration : 09h00 - 09h30

Session 1: The Bleek-Lloyd Collection

Moderator: Krister Östlund (Sweden, Uppsala University)

  • UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register: Nomination procedure, The Bleek-Lloyd Collection, and current nominations from Africa / Jan Bos (The Netherlands, National Library of The Netherlands).
  • The Bleek-Lloyd Collection: History, Significance, Contents, Locations, Challenges, and Opportunities / Renate Meyer (South Africa, University of Cape Town).
  • Digitising the Bleek-Lloyd Collection: Transformation, Limitation, Responsibility / Pippa Skotnes (South Africa, University of Cape Town).
  • The ǀXam term ǀkā̍ïnya becomes the color term “green”: negotiation of meanings over 79 years / Matthias Brenzinger (CALDi – Centre for African Language Diversity, University of Cape Town)
  • The Square Kilometre Array initiative in the context of the Bleek and Lloyd documents / John Parkinton, Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town.  Authors:  John Parkington, Janette Deacon, Simon Hall, David Morris, Pam Christie, Russ Taylor, Jose de Prada and Neil Rusch. 

Tea 11h15 – 11h30

Session 2: Managing African Collections

Moderator: Isabel Garcia-Monge, (Spain, Spanish Bibliographical Heritage Union Catalogue)

  • L'état de conservation des collections de manuscrits en Afrique du Nord à travers d'expérience de la Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc [The state of manuscripts collections conservation in North Africa through experience of the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco / Hassan Aakki (National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco). Paper in French
  • Captured on camera: a historical and archival appreciation of the Arthur Elliott Collection / Dr. Gustav Hendrich (South Africa, Western Cape Archives and Records Service). Paper in English
  • Working in and with African photo archives / Jürg Schneider and Rosario Mazuela (Switzerland, African Photography Initiatives, University of Basel).  The paper will be read by Paul Weinberg, University of Cape Town Libraries. Paper in English
  • Sharing Collections with the world: The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs / Esmeralda Kale (USA, Northwestern University). Powerpoint slides

Lunch 13h00 – 14h00

Session 3: Providing access to African cultural heritage

Discussion leader: Beth Kilmarx, United States, Binghamton University Libraries The presenters will join in a panel discussion to further explore the cultural and political issues around providing access to African cultural heritage. 

15h30 - 16h30

Session 4: Tour and presentation of UCT rare books collection

Tanya Barben, former rare books librarian UCT Special collections

* About the Bleek and Lloyd Collection: The University of Cape Town Libraries is the repository for a unique collection of material about the /Xam Bushmen, compiled by philologist, Dr. Wilhelm Bleek, and his sister-in-law, Lucy Lloyd, between 1870 and 1881. They worked with a series of Bushmen informants to record the language, stories, life-histories and way of life of the /Xam. An important part of the collection is the series of notebooks in which Bleek and Lloyd recorded this information, in the original language, most of which they then translated into English. There are also drawings made by the informants as well as other material including photographs, maps and ephemera.  A large portion of the notebooks and material from this collection has been digitised and is available online through the Libraries digital collections site.  The University also has a number of academic researchers and units that have engaged in various ways with the material. The National Library of South Africa in Cape Town and Iziko South African Museum also have collections of Bleek and Lloyd material. These collections are listed in Unesco's Memory of the World Register as documentary heritage of international importance.