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

Welcome to the new DISA blog.

In setting up the DISA blog, we have several aims in mind.

Firstly, this blog aims to encourage dialogue and debate about digitisation, digital collections and repositories, digital services and all other issues related to building online collections, particularly in an African context.  Implementation issues, standards, best practices, guidelines and IT issues are likely to be of interest to a wide audience and the DISA blog will be a useful platform for sharing of experiences.

The DISA website has a rich collection of materials relating to the struggles for freedom in South Africa during the period from 1950 to 1994. The second aim of this blog is to highlight content in our collection, encourage feedback and hear from users how the content is being used and how we can improve our services. The DISA website also hosts several other projects such as the South African Music Archive Project (SAMAP) Durban In Motion and the Centre for Visual Methodologies. We hope the blog will stimulate discussions around the content of the hosted projects, particularly around indigenous music from South Africa.

Lastly, the blog aims to post announcements and news about events, workshops and conferences that are happening in our fields of interest.

Guest bloggers are encouraged to submit blogs for publication and if you would like to write a guest blog, please email Pat Liebetrau at