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UP Heritage Committee

The Heritage Committee

Message from the Chairperson

Welcome to the website of the University of Pretoria Heritage Committee.

The University of Pretoria Heritage Committee is chaired by the Registrar, Prof. Caroline Nicholson, and is divided into eight sub-committees constituted from different faculties within the University. These sub-committees are specialist areas that collectively govern a wide diversity of tangible and intangible heritage collections on behalf of the institution. These natural, cultural, historical and archival collections range from geological, archaeological, medical, botanical, artistic, palaeontological, and anthropological to numismatic collections, amongst others. These collections reflect the standing, history and heritage of the institutional memory of the University. The Heritage Committee meets quarterly and is mandated to ensure that all university collections meet minimum standards in terms of basic cataloguing, inventory control, insurance, risk management, documentation, adequate storage and sound preservation.

The University of Pretoria formally launched the Heritage Committee on 6 April 2009, as part of the fulfilment of the Corporate Policy for the University of Pretoria Heritage Collections that was approved in October 2008 by the University’s Executive. This Committee was established specifically to identify, assess, advise and monitor all departments that hold different types of collections. The Heritage Committee aims to professionally and ethically manage, protect, preserve and provide access to these collections according to minimum standard practices and compliance in terms of national and international policies and legislation.

More importantly, however, it is essential that heritage collections be preserved for future generations whilst being made accessible to researchers and other stakeholders for knowledge development and are actively used within teaching and training and other related purposes.

Prof. Caroline Nicolson

Registrar, University of Pretoria


The Art Committee

The Art Committee was formed as early as 1960 and became part of the Heritage Committee with its formation. The Art Committee has two mandates. 

A. To ensure the quality of Art bought by the University and its departments and displayed on all the campuses. To fulfill this mandate the Art Committee is responsible for all acquisitions of artworks on campus; it includes all artworks, even those bought by Departments and Schools.

B. To manage inventories of the UP-Art Collection as well as the Christo Coetzee Collection . With this management responsibility comes the acquiring of artworks by purchase, donation or bequest.


To apply for approval for the purchase of Artworks contact:

[email protected]

012 420 5450


UP Archive Committee

The Archive Committee looks after the History of the University of Pretoria and they largely govern original documentation on campus. The UP Archive is a repository for these documents and the committee is chaired by Prof Karin Harris. The Archive is the only entity on campus that can decide whether original documentation can be destroyed or not. The access to Information Act forbids the destruction of original documents so it would be wise to contact the archive on tel. 420 2123 before cleaning out that storeroom and destroying vital information.


Documents Collection Committee

The Documents Collection Committee is chaired by Mr. Robert Moropa, the Director of the Library Service. This Committee governs:

1.         Africana collections of the Library

2.         Architectural collections         

3.         The sheet music collection           

4.         Mimi Coertze Collection      

5.         The Dutch Cultural Historical Institute        

6.         The Art Archive       


Natural Sciences Collections

The Natural Sciences Collections Committee, chaired by Jason Sampson, is one of the largest clusters of collections on the campus. The Committee incorporates all the collections maintained by Natural Science Departments across campus and has the difficult task of keeping these collections within the parameters of the South African Law. The various collections that form part of this Committee are:


1.         HGJW Schweickerdt Herbarium with 120 000 samples of plants.

2.         The Cycad and botanical gardens collection

3.         The Insect collection

4.         The Animal skeleton collection

5.         Van Wyk wood collection

6.         The Geology Collection


Museum Committee

The UP Arts Museum Committee is chaired by Sian Tiley-Nel, Museum Manager and Chief Curator of the Mapungubwe Collection. The Museum Committee is tasked with governing and curating the museum collections, which comprise of fifty-two other diverse collections of the University of Pretoria.


Human Sciences Collections Committee

The Human Sciences Collections Committee is chaired by Hilda Kriel, from the Library services. The Committee governs collections of objects from the Human Sciences. These Collections include:

1.                   Archaeological collections

2.                   Kya Rosa collection

3.                   Velcich anthropological collection

4.                   Gawie S Nienaber Collection

5.                   Africana objects collection

6.                   Collections of the residences and the SRC.


Onderstepoort Committee

The Onderstepoort Committee is chaired by Dr van Dam. During many years of research on the veterinary campus of the University several unique collections of equipment, anatomy and study documents were brought together. This committee governs the future of these collections.


Medical Sciences Committee

This is the latest of the committees and is tasked with the governing and the management of legal requirements concerning the collections of skeletal remains and the WG de Haas Anatomy collection. Smaller collections like the Tooth and Mouth Clinics instruments collection and smaller collections of the same nature will also be managed by this Committee. 

- Author Nicole Hoffmann
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Last edited by Nicole HoffmannEdit