African marimbas

A call has been made for papers for the SASRIM 5th Annual Congress, to be held at Rhodes University, 23-25 June 2011. The flyer calling for papers outlines the purpose of SASRIM as below:

SASRIM was founded in order to draw together persons researching all fields of music, a move that was intended to stimulate discussions across previously segregated sub-disciplines and to result in synergistic benefits to our research and even to the way in which we conceptualise our research.

The website has more details about the Congress. 

Anti-apartheid and southern Africa solidarity collection at the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In 2008 the IISH acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands. It concerns the archives and related library and documentary collections of the three former anti-apartheid groups which merged into the Netherlands institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) in 1997. The collected archives consist of documents from organisations such as the South Africa Committee (from the 1960s), the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Angola Committee/Holland Committee on Southern Africa, the Eduardo Mondlane Foundation, Institute for Southern Africa and Broadcasting for Radio Freedom.

Since then the archivist of the collection, Kier Schuringa, processed all the audio-visual materials of the former anti-apartheid groups in the IISH collection, including some 13,500 photographs and over 500 slides, 1100 posters, 300 buttons 800 video-tapes, exhibition materials, t-shirts, audio cassettes, etc, Also, the archives of the South Africa Committee and the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement have been processed, including the production of full inventories. Currently, the Archives of the Angola Committee/Holland Committee on Southern Africa are being processed.

The results if this work, including many scans of the visual materials, can be seen on the IISH website. A useful introduction to the collection can be found here and which also features a background section, including links and a webdossier on the history of the anti-apartheid solidarity movement in The Netherlands (also in English).

Contributed by Kier Schuringa

In support of Open Access Week the Library and Information Service at Stellenbosch University (SU) hosted a virtual seminar on Open Access to Information on the 20th October 2010. Various aspects of open access were discussed including publishing in an open access journal, the use of open access software, and open access from a researcher’s perspective. To demonstrate its commitment to sharing knowledge and research with the world, Stellenbosch University became the first African University to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in Sciences and Humanities. The signing took place during the event.

The presentations are available online from the Stellenbosch institutional research repository, SUNScholar:

Related blog: Experts give open access the green light

 Photo By goXunuReviews/Courtesy Flickr

Photo By goXunuReviews/Courtesy Flickr

One of my favourite pastimes is trawling the bookshops to see what’s new and interesting on the shelves. Of course I eventually succumb and end up purchasing more to add to the growing pile on my night stand. I can be labelled a bibliophile - there’s nothing more satisfying than relaxing on a rainy afternoon with a novel. But with our hectic lifestyles there’s something to be said about the convenience of an e-reader and having access to a whole library of digital books that can be read anywhere and at any time (on a plane, in the bath!). It seems that the burgeoning digital book market is giving traditional book sellers a run for their money. According to a recent article by Victor Keegan in the Mail & Guardian online, Amazon’s Kindle e-reader holds the biggest share when it comes to the percentage of digital books sold. The Apple iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are worthy competitors. The article states that Amazon has also ventured into making audio and video books available. Apparently there are others who are keen to be part of the race and have developed some interesting alternatives in making books accessible in digital form. Keegan reassures us that “…the product itself - the book - is not threatened, only the way it it is read”. There’s a book revolution out there and it’s up to us as readers to decide what the future may hold.

Reference: Keegan, V. (October 26, 2010). Who will control the future of books. Mail and Guardian online.

Read the full article at:

Frank Talk was the pseudonym used by Steve Biko to write articles, many of which were later published in a periodical called Frank Talk. This was first published in 1984 and was committed to a theoretical vision of a Black Consciusness ideology. All issues are available online from the DISA website here. Several issues were banned for distribution, at the time, in terms of government legislation but were later unbanned.

The Steve Biko Foundation is commemorating the banning of several Black Consciousness Organisations which took place 33 years ago. They are hosting an event to facilitate dialogue about the roles, rights and responsibilities of the media. The invitation to attend is below. More information is available from