Rhodes House treasures in Anti-Apartheid exhibition

3 July 2009

azr0008_SMALLAn exhibition has opened at the Museum of London to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), featuring items from the AAM archive held at the Bodleian Library.

Twenty-three posters from the archive, leaflets, badges, a copy of Anti-Apartheid News and letters from Prime Ministers James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher are on display along with photographs and film clips which illustrate how the AAM campaigned against the system of apartheid, beginning with a boycott of South African goods in 1959, until the first democratic elections in 1994.

The exhibition, ‘Forward to Freedom. The Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Liberation of Southern Africa’, was opened by Lord Steel of Aikwood (David Steel) who was President of the AAM from 1966 to 1970. The exhibition runs until 6 September at the Museum’s Barbican site and admission is free.

The AAM archive was donated to the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House in 1995 after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was dissolved following the successful transition of South Africa from an apartheid state to a non-racial democratic society. The archive filled almost 800 large boxes and sorting and cataloguing it took five years. A catalogue to the archive can be found online on the Library’s website at  www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/aam.html
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