Fonds BC743 - William Duncan Baxter Papers

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William Duncan Baxter Papers


  • 1868-1960 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1341 items

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Biographical history

William Duncan Baxter (14 June 1868 in Dundee, Scotland – 7 January 1960 in Cape Town) was the Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa, from 1907 to 1908. Baxter is the namesake of the Baxter Theatre Centre, a performing arts complex in Rondebosch, a suburb of Cape Town. The theatre, generally known as "The Baxter", was named in honour of Baxter because of a charitable gift given to the University of Cape Town specifically for the construction of a theatre centre (Wikipedia)

Archival history

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Scope and content

The Collection of 1341 items was presented to the University of Cape Town Libraries by his daughter Mrs Moira Henderson, and consists of W Duncan Baxter's personal papers, covering the period 1868 - c 1960. They include school certificates, letters of good wishes and congratulation on the occasion of his marriage, on receiving on honorary degree from U.C.T., and on having the freedom of the City of Cape Town conferred upon him. There are also letters from his family in Scotland and some letters to his wife and children. The Collection does not contain any correspondence but mainly single letters received, with the exception of 124 letters received from James W Mackinlay, 1940 - 1948. These give a vivid impression of life in London during the blitz and the V1 and V2 rockets. There is a section covering W Duncan Baxter's political career, his involvement with the Cape Peninsula Publicity Association, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway scheme, etc. Manuscripts of some of his essays and of his autobiography, "Turn back the Pages", have been included, as well as journals of holidays and an interesting notebook describing farming conditions in the Colorado/New Mexico border area North America, probably compiled from letters from a relative who went to the United States in the 1880's. There is an interesting section on J W Jagger including a few letters received by him and various published articles concerning the firm of J W Jagger and Co. (Pty) Ltd. The Hall family is also represented here. W Hall was J W Jagger's father-in-law, who went to farm in Natal in 1850 but a few years later brought his family to settle in Cape Town. Copies of a journal of his voyage to the Cape and conditions in Natal ca 1850 - 53 have been included as well as a family tree. Portraits, family photographs, formal groups of politicians, and newspaper clippings relevant to the papers have all been included.


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No restrictions apply

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  • English

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  • English



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