The National English Literary Museum (NELM): a case study in successful archival conservation in Africa

  • Malcolm Hacksley


Examining one African museum, the author demonstrates that the preservation of archives in Africa is not a lost cause. Foreign purchasing forays impelled the need for NELM. Foresight, determination and persuasion have ensured significant donations of local literary documents, supplemented by books, journals, press-clippings and theses. The pre-eminence of NELM's collections is attested to by numerous foreign scholars who travel to Grahamstown to work at NELM. Thorough indexing of materials facilitates rapid electronic access to data on over 5000 writers, many writing in English as an alternative language: NELM is the repository for all Southern Africa's creative writing in English.

(Innovation: 2002 24: 9-13)

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eISSN: 1025-8892