Collection 008 - Oliver Tambo Papers

Identity area

Reference code

ZA UFHL MR-RT-008

Title

Oliver Tambo Papers

Date(s)

  • 1960 - 1992 (Accumulation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

19 reels. Boxes 19-27 and 88-95 were not microfilmed. Rivonia Trial material is minimal. Extent of Rivonia Trial related material is minimal. ; Microfilm, Text-based documents

Context area

Name of creator

(27 October 1917-24 April 1993)

Biographical history

Lawyer, politician and anti-apartheid activist. Leading member of the ANC and founder member of the ANCYL. Co-founder, with Mandela, of South Africa’s only African legal practice in the 1950s. Became secretary general of the ANC after Walter Sisulu was banned, and deputy president of the ANC, 1958. Served with a five-year banning order, 1959. Left South Africa during the 1960s to manage the external activities of the ANC and to mobilise opposition against apartheid. Established military training camps outside South Africa. Initiated the Free Mandela Campaign in the 1980s. Acting president of the ANC, 1967, after the death of Chief Albert Luthuli. Was elected president in 1969 at the Morogoro Conference, a post he held until 1991 when he became the ANC’s national chairperson. Awarded the ANC’s highest honour, Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe, in 1992.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection has been arranged in four series: A. Personal Documents, B. Office of the President, C. Special Topics, and D. Press Cuttings (not microfilmed).

Only a few records relate indirectly to the Rivonia Trial:


  • News clippings from South African and international newspapers concerning the arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1962, his court appearances, and calls for his release from prison (1962 - 1988)
  • A letter from the ANC London office concerning the arrests of Mandela and Walter Sisulu
  • Reports on campaigns for the release of political prisones
  • Correspondence from Mandela, written from Pollsmoor Prison, to Oliver Tambo and a number of other individuals
  • Correspondence, reports and messages concerning international support for Mandela’s release from prison. Subjects covered include tributes on his 60th and 70th birthdays, and awards and honours conferred on Mandela, particularly through the work of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (1984)
  • Correspondence and statementsre international calls for Mandela’s release from prison. These include correspondence about a resolution passed by the African Symposium on African Orality in Nigeria and a statement by the President of the Republic of Senegal after Mandela's release.
  • Drafts of plays and books on Mandela, including" No Easy Walk to Freedom", "Nelson Mandela and the Rivonia Trial" and "What Is To Be Done"
  • Published and unpublished statements and speeches of Mandela, 1962 - 1991
  • Biographical notes onMandela

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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Conditions governing access

Unrestricted

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