Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Consultations of the Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa collection in recent years

I made an overview of the consultations and other usages of the Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa collection of the International Institute of Social History in the last six years (2012-2017). Both of the consultations of our archives and collections through the reading room of the institute, and of the requests for sources and information material, scans of photographs and other visual items, advice for research projects, exhibitions, etc. which were handled by me personally. The overall picture is clearly positive, as far as I'm concerned, especially because the interest shown in the collection does not diminish but remains more or less stable troughout these years - some 30 to 40 substantial consultations each year. More than half of these are from Dutch students, researchers, journalists, etc., mainly consulting the archives of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement, Angola Comité/Holland Committee on Southern Africa (together ca. 60%), Comité South Africa (1960s), Working Group Kairos and other groups in the collection. Also, in the last two years, increasingly the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa photo and documentation collections which became available, are consulted through the reading room. The consultations and requests from outside The Netherlands come mainly (almost 50%) from South Africa - archives, museums, students/researchers, former ANC-members in exile, etc. From the rest of the world, especially Canada/US and England are well represented (some 25%), but they come also from countries like Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Mozambique, Namibia and Switzerland. International consultations focus on sources and documentation material and even more on photographs and other visual documents; much less on the archives. The subjects of these consultations and requests vary even more widely. Of course, the activites of the Dutch anti-apartheid and Southern Africa groups in the past feature regularly, but also a lot of other aspects (of the history) of the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in Southern Africa and the international solidarity movement. Next we see a lot of requests for photographs of  struggle activists and specific events in history, as well as photos and other visual items for exhibitions - in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg for instance - and for the websites of various archives. Most of these subjects relate to South Africa, but also to countries like Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.