Image from the Netherlands Cultural History Library, University of Pretoria
The University of Pretoria Library Special Collections consist of seven collections, including a digital research repository which can be searched here. Non-digital collections include: the Africana collection, consisting of “books in all disciplines limited to Africa south of the Sahara” as well as the collections of “eminent persons” and a pamphlet collection; the South African Music Collection, consisting of sheet music, photographs, and ephemera relating to South African musicians; the Jurriaanse Collection, which “covers the classics in literature and medicine”; the UP collection or works written by University of Pretoria scholars and/or relating to or funded by the University; the Reserved Collection of non-Africana, antiquarian collections; and perhaps most significantly, the Netherlands Cultural History Library, “the most extensive Dutch collection in the Southern Hemisphere”.
With the exception of the digital research repository and the Netherlands Cultural History Library, little information on these special collections is given online. Of the latter collection, we know that it consists of about 40,000 books and 40,000 journals, and that some are accessible only via card catalogue. Items that have been catalogued electronically can be found via the online catalogue.
Contact information for the Special Collections library can be found on their home page. Policies state that the special collections are freely available to University of Pretoria researchers, and that private researchers may access the collection at the rate of 50 rand per day.
The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (compiled by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid), whose mission is to promote web publication, support open access initiatives, and increase electronic access to academic materials, rates the University of Pretoria 4th in Africa and 646th in the world in terms of academic web presence. Eight of the top ten African universities in this ranking are South African, a statistic that mirrors listings of online African museums by Africom, according to which South African museums are far more likely to have an online presence. We reported on Africom here.