In a collaborative effort, the Department of Library Services of the University of Pretoria and the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) at the University of Stellenbosch are currently compiling a database of music-related articles from South African cultural journals. The web-publication of these articles, together with comprehensive metadata, are being made available on the institutional repository, UPSpace (temporarily available at http://www.up.ac.za/dspace/handle/2263/2771), under the collection name, South African Music Literature. Links to and from the DOMUS homepage (http://www.domus.ac.za) will be provided.
Initially, this database was an adjunct to Annemie Stimie’s research for a masters’ thesis entitled Cosmopolitanism in early Afrikaans music historiography, 1910-1948 (concluded in 2010). A large proportion of early contributions to the South African music discourse can be found in the Afrikaans cultural journals and newspapers that this thesis introduces. Some publications that also appear in the South African Music Literature Collection include Die Brandwag (1910-1922), Die Huisgenoot (1914-1950), Die Nuwe Brandwag (1929-1933) and Die Brandwag (1937-1950). Despite these texts’ historical and cultural value, there is still no complete bibliography available that could ensure access to it. This database creates thus a platform to compile such a bibliography while it also opens the material for researchers to access freely. With these Afrikaans texts as a starting point, there exists the potential and the vision to expand the database project to include music-related articles in other South African languages that appeared during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This database thus uncovers and presents a historically important body of writings about music that have been inaccessible up to the present time.
To promote research of music and culture in South Africa through providing complete bibliographies of music-related articles in general magazines and newspapers, as well as digitising these articles and making it universally accessible on the internet. Since the digitisation of articles and documents lends wider accessibility to primary research material, this project will open these materials to future researchers on a platform where information will be freely available and fully searchable.