The APC collects, preserves and conserves documents, manuscripts, papers, books, journals, tapes, videos, posters, artefacts and information on aspects of resistance to apartheid in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The APC is used by staff and students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, researchers and visitors from all over the world, postgraduate and undergraduate students from other tertiary institutions in South Africa, scholars from local schools and members of the public from Pietermaritzburg and other areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
Core donations of manuscripts were made, including Alan Patonâ€™s papers, his poetry and short story manuscripts and his correspondence. Alan Paton is most famous as the author of the world-renowned novel, Cry, the beloved Country, written in 1946. Paton was torn between being an author and a politician. He was a founder member of the Liberal Party of South Africa (LPSA) in 1953.
The struggle against apartheid in South Africa took place from 1948, when the National Government came into power, until the early 1990s, when Nelson Mandela was freed, and power was gradually transferred to the African National Congress (ANC). Over this period, many organisations and individuals were involved in the struggle against apartheid. the papers and archives of many of those individuals and organisations who were based in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands have been collected at the Alan Paton Centre (APC) as a record of the struggle years in the region.
Core Collections at the Alan Paton Centre Include:
- Alan Stuart Paton: A Short Biography
- Paton’s Works
- Cry, The Beloved Country: The Book
- The Liberal Party of South Africa
- Political Activists
- Violence in KwaZulu-Natal (Manuscript & Oral History Collections)
- The Black Sash
- Land Issues: Blackspots and Forced Removals
- The Oral History Project
- The Natal Society Special Collections
- Peace and Reconciliation Initiatives
- The Nomkhubulwane Collection
- The Children in Distress Network (CINDI)
- Photograph Collection