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William Cullen Library: Special Collections

About Us


The Early Africana collection comprises books and periodicals published before 1850 and runs up to 1925. It can be described as covering some of the rare and important books which are not Africana. The collection includes the Landau collection of books related to Judaica and the Ernest Oppenheimer collection of books on Portuguese studies.

Books in this collection have been separated from the main collections for reasons of age, beauty or historical bibliographic significance and include rare and early printed books not related to Africa. Of special interest are the Incunabula (books printed before 1501 ), including an example of one of the earliest books printed in moveable type in the 15th century; the products of the Private Presses; and the Typography and Bibliography collection. This last consists of books about books, and provides a reference section for the rest of the collection.

The Early Map collection is representative of the art and science of cartography as reflected in the mapping of Africa. The collection runs up to 1925.

The Early Africana Collections are closed access collections. Tours can be made by prior arrangement. Please contact the Librarian for information


The William Burchell collection of paintings is housed at the MuseumAfrica.