The liberation of Southern Africa and the dismantling of the Apartheid regime was one of the major political developments of the 20th century, with far-reaching consequences for people throughout Africa and around the globe. Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa focuses on the complex and varied liberation struggles in the region, with an emphasis on Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The contents of the collection document colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region. Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa brings together materials from various archives and libraries throughout the world and makes them available online to students, teachers, and researchers.

What's in the Collection?

The collection consists of more than 190,000 pages of documents and images, including periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other particularly relevant books, oral histories, and speeches. The collection’s materials were selected with the guidance of national advisory committees consisting of leading scholars, archivists, and public intellectuals in the six countries, as well as scholars from outside the region. Content contributors range from South Africa’s pioneering digitization project, Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA), to libraries and archives from Mozambique, Namibia, and beyond.

Collection Background

Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa was originally produced by Aluka, an international, collaborative initiative formed to build an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. In 2008, Aluka became part of JSTOR, with Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa now hosted on JSTOR's platform. The name “Aluka” was derived from a Zulu word meaning “to weave,” reflecting its original commitment to connecting resources and scholars from around the world.  

Foundation funding for Aluka has come from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Arcadia Fund.