National Archives

The government archives service in South Africa houses and preserves the state records and other documents that have been collected since the arrival of white settlers. These are collected primarily for government reference purposes, but are also available for public consultation, as they offer a wide field for research. Documents that are at least thirty years old are transferred to archive depots in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg. There is no charge for admission to the archive depots and reading rooms. The various archive depots contain valuable collections of documents, such as papers relating to former prime ministers. Documents covering the period up to the end of 1950 are accessible to the public. There are well-established archival collections in a number of universities and also in the South African library and in private institutions and churches. In 1978, the Government Archives Service launched the National Register of Manuscripts (NAREM), a computerised database concerning manuscript collections in all major participating institutions.

Contact info

National Archives of South Africa, Head Office
The National Archivist
Postal address: Private Bag X236, PRETORIA, 0001
Street address: 24 Hamilton Street, Arcadia, PRETORIA 
Telephone: +27 (0)12 - 323 5300
Fax: +27 (0)12 - 323 5287 

National Film, Video and Sound Archives
The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X236, PRETORIA, 0001
Street address: 698 Church Street East, Arcadia, PRETORIA
Telephone: +27 (0)12 - 343 9767
Fax: +27 (0)12 - 344 5143

Cape Town Archives Repository
The Head
Postal address: Private Bag X9025, CAPE TOWN, 8000
Street address: 72 Roeland Street, CAPE TOWN
Telephone: +27 (0)21 - 462 4050
Fax: +27 (0)21 - 465 2960

Collections in the Archives