From tin trunk to world-wide memory : the making of the Bleek collection

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This research sketches the history of the Bleek-L1oyd collection by documenting the cataloguing and archiving of material which has occurred in the years subsequent to the recording of the original manuscripts and certain related material during the closing decades of the nineteenth century. It attempts to track the processes by which material elements (notebooks, manuscripts, printed documents, artefacts, objects and original artworks, correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, books, photographs, paintings) became consolidated - or separated - as part of the making of what is now known as the Bleek-L1oyd archive. In addition, this research examinesthe various projects of knowledge production and writing which have emanated from the archive in the 80 years since a small part of the notebook texts, edited by Lucy Lloyd, was published in 1911. In particular, I examine ways in which the notebook texts have been deployed in the service of emerging and established academic disciplines including philology, "native studies", folklore and anthropology, archaeology and rock art interpretation. In more recent times, the Bleek collection provides a case study of the archive reconstituted for the new nation, serving not only as a site for the recovery of lost or hidden histories, but also as location for an international, redemptive celebration of indigenous identities

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 107-115).