Fonds BC294 - Duncan Papers

Reference code



Duncan Papers


  • 1901-1943 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

104 archive boxes (nearly 17 000 items)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Sir Patrick Duncan was in the early years of the 20th century, a member of Milner's Kindergarten; later he became a Member of Parliament, then a Cabinet Minister and finally Governor-General of the Union of South Africa (1937-1943).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The Duncan Papers were presented to the University of Cape Town Libraries in 1966 by Sir Patrick Duncan's three children, namely Patrick Duncan, John Duncan and Deborah Cowen.

Scope and content

Family correspondence which forms a large part of the collection.

Correspondence and other papers concerning property and private business affairs.

Political and other papers (1900-1943); incl. correspondence with Lionel Curtis and correspondence between Lady Selborne and Duncan over a period of nearly 40 years, ca. 1945 letters.

Letters from many prominent South Africans i.a. Gens. JC Smuts and Louis Botha, JX Merriman, Sarah G Millin, Lord Milner, Sir Herbert Baker.


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

Contact University of Cape Town Libraries: Special Collections for information about accessing this collection.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Only a high-level description of the collection is maintained in AtoM. For a list of contents, see

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Microfilm of letters of Sir Patrick Duncan to his son, Patrick, BCZA78/1.

Related descriptions

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area