Fonds BC751 - PEN Collection

Reference code

ZA UCT BC751

Title

PEN Collection

Date(s)

  • 1951-1992 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

The PEN Collection was donated in 1982, and further papers added in 1999. These are the papers of SA PEN Centre (Cape) an affiliate of International PEN, and comprise minutes, memoranda, newsletters, newsclippings and correspondence, both internal and international. Included are opinions of and comment from renowned writers, especially regarding bannings, censorship etc. in SA during the apartheid years.

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Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donor: Brian Bamford, Chairman of SA P.E.N.

Scope and content

The PEN Collection was donated to UCT Libraries in 1982, and further papers added in 1999. These are the papers of SA PEN Centre (Cape), which is an affiliate of International PEN.
PEN is a world association of writers, editors and translators in all branches and classes of literature; the initials standing for poets, essayists and novelists - later expanded to also include playwrights and publishers. It was founded in 1921 by the English poet and novelist C A Dawson-Scott, under the presidency of John Galsworthy. The first South African branch of International PEN was founded in Johannesburg in 1927. The Cape Town Centre was begun in 1960.
Although all centres are autonomous, all branch members automatically belong to International PEN, whose headquarters are in London. Annual international congresses are held in different parts of the world, and members from any centre are invited to attend. There is documentation in the collection relating to the annual conferences, at which matters relating to writers in apartheid South Africa sometimes arose; as well as minutes, memoranda, newsletters, newsclippings and correspondence, both internal and international. Included are opinions of and comment from renowned writers, especially regarding bannings, censorship and similar constraints on authors in SA during the apartheid years. These issues are aired in different sections of the collection - members correspondence (D3); interaction with SA PEN correspondence (D7); interaction with International PEN; as well as in the main Protests section (F). Correspondence is included from the likes of Nadine Gordimer, Sarah G Millin, Alan Paton and Wilbur Smith as well as long-time President Mary Renault and Chairman Frank Barlow.

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Certain files are restricted.

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Finding aids

Only a high level record of this collection is currently maintained in AtoM. For a list of contents, see http://atom.lib.uct.ac.za/pdfs/BC751.pdf

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