Van Warmelo Collection

Van Warmelo Collection


The van Warmelo Collection, donated to the University after the doctor’s death, comprises 540 manuscripts in 97 boxes, concerning different South African indigenous groups and collected whilst he was in the employment of the Department of Bantu affairs as the State Ethnologist.

These include manuscripts on the Xhosa, Zulu, Swazi, Tsonga, South Sotho (Sesotho, Tswana, North-Sotho (Sepedi) and Venda (Tshivenḓa). Most of these manuscripts were written in the original black language. These manuscripts include detailed information about the history, traditions, way of life, dress, laws, warfare and religion of the groups as well as the traditional life-stages that an individual goes through from birth to death.

Dr van Warmelo collected this information over a period of 30 to 40 years and it forms part of his unpublished legacy, which will be invaluable to future generations of researchers.

The collection also includes a number of photographs, albums, and cultural samples.

This is a collection in progress, please view the Van Warmelo collection (finding aid) for full collection details.

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