Estelle Hamilton-Welsh Collection
This museum serves as custodian of the University Museum collection. It houses the indigenous African collection named the Estelle Hamilton-Welsh collection, collected between 1880 and 1940. It consists of objects from the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. It includes Xhosa, Mfengu, Thembu, Mpondo, Zulu and Ndebele beadwork, as well as costumes from different ethnic groups, grass work, wooden artefacts, chains, medicines and weapons.
F S Malan Collection
This collection dates back from the mid-1930s and contains a wide range of Southern African ethnographic artefacts. It includes mainly beadwork, cloth, animal skin bags, traditional skirts dyed in red and yellow ochre for girls and women, agricultural implements, traditional hunting weapons, medicines, specimens of edible plants, indigenous divining bones and equipment, as well as carved wooden walking sticks. It reflects the diversity of culture of Xhosa, Mfengu, Mpondo, Zulu, Shangaan, Swazi, Venda, Pedi, Sotho, Tlokwa and Ndebele peoples of Southern Africa. The artifacts were collected as far as the Mpumalanga Province, Limpopo Province, the North West Province and the Free State.
Black Contemporary Art
The Contemporary South African Black Art Collection covers a wide range of fine art disciplines such as etchings, woodcuts, wood blocks, linocuts, serigraphs, drawings, paintings and sculpture representing more than 150 artists, including internationally recognized personages such as Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, Sydney Khumalo, John Muafangejo, Lucas Sithole, Ephraim Ngatane, John Mohl, Cyprian Shilakoe, Ezrom Legae, Louis Maqhubela and Dumile Mhlaba Feni. The most important section of the collection dates from 1930 to 1950 among which Sekoto and Pemba represent the pioneers of township art.
The paintings and prints produced between 1960 and 1970 are complex in content, and lay the foundation for the development of art in the following decades. The third period covered by representatives of this collection is between 1970 and 1990. It covers a wide range of subjects of historical importance.
Archives of the Liberation Movements
The University is the custodian of the archives of the Liberation Movements which include the records of the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Azanian Peoples Organisation (AZAPO), the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), the Unity Movement (UMSA), and the New Unity Movement (NUM) as well as the Sport and Liberation Materials Collection.
The personal papers of a number of activists and the records of the Federation of Seminaries (FEDSEM) are in the archives. The University Records also form a large collection. NAHECS is currently embarking on acquiring, processing and developing a Sports Liberation Materials Archive.