Special Collections South African Music Collection Exhibition

Posted on May 01, 2018

From mid-April to mid-May, the Special Collections unit had an exhibition on Level 3 featuring its South African Music Collections. The emphasis was on our Mimi Coertse collection, but other collections were also represented, such as the FZ van der Merwe collection and the Marieta Napier collection.

The Mimi Coertse collection was donated to the University of Pretoria’s Library Services in November 1998, and comprises originally composed sheet music, CDs, awards, original paintings of Mimi Coertse, photographs, costume designs and much else. There are also three costumes from La Traviata, Die Fledermaus and La Bohème in the collection.

The FZ van der Merwe collection is mostly made up of manuscripts and sheet music by South African composers and music from abroad that was inspired by South African themes. These include religious and popular music, in Afrikaans, English and the local African languages (e.g. solfa music composed by Marcus Maytaza in 1931). Of the oldest works include Zwey Kaplieder published in 1787 and ‘Jesus, de ware Zondaarsvriend’ in 1840. Dr Frederick Ziervogel van der Merwe (1894-1968) was a medical doctor with an exceptional interest in the identification, collection and preservation of South African sheet music. The collection which he bequeathed to the University of Pretoria in 1968, now forms the basis of our FZ van der Merwe collection.

For more information on the collections which make up the Special Collections unit, visit our webpage at http://www.library.up.ac.za/special/index.htm

- Author Ms Nikki Haw

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