Fonds BC630 - Simons Collection

Reference code



Simons Collection


  • 1905-1948 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

22 boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Jack Simons was born in Riversdale, Cape Province, in 1907, where his father was town clerk as well as owner and publisher of two local newspapers. He was lecturer, senior lecturer and then Associate Professor in African Studies at the University of Cape Town between 1937 and 1967. A committed Communist and vigorous intellectual, Jack Simons was served with a number of banning orders by the apartheid regime, the first being in 1952. In December 1964 his banning order also barred him from teaching, writing or attending gatherings. He left South Africa with trade unionist Ray Simons (nee Alexander), whom he had married in 1941. After a two year sojourn at the University of Manchester and in London they settled in Zambia. The couple spent twenty-five years in exile, returning to South Africa in 1990. On 24 June 1994 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by UCT. Jack passed away in July 1995. His Struggles in Southern Africa for survival and equality was published posthumously in 1996.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by the School of African Studies, University of Cape Town, 1975.

Scope and content

The Native Economic (Holloway) Commission (1930-1932); minutes of evidence: Transvaal, Natal and Cape Town. Native Laws Commission of Enquiry (HA Fagan, 1948); memoranda submitted to Commission by various individuals and organisations, and minutes of evidence (incomplete). Native Locations Commission (HW Struben, 1905-1906); minutes of evidence (incomplete).


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Conditions governing access

No restrictions apply

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Language of material

  • English

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  • English



Accession area