Flask, ostrich eggshell, Namibia

One of one hundred highlights from the Social History Collections. Click image to find out more...

Cloth, cotton, Zoutpansberg, Limpopo, 1860s

Pot, Khoekhoe, Western Cape

Doll, automaton, mandolin player, maker unknown

Click on the images to find out more...

The nucleus of the original collections was established in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as part of the historical, archaeological and ethnographic collections of the South African Museum (SAM), and later the South African Cultural History Museum (SACHM). These museums form part of Iziko Museums of Cape Town, which includes the South African Museum, Slave Lodge, Groot Constantia, Koopmans-De Wet House, Bertram House, Bo-Kaap Museum, Rust en Vreugd and the  William Fehr Collection in the Castle.

The major collections are highlighted here

Collections and Conservation

The Social History Collections Department aims to increase public awareness of the history and cultural heritage of South Africa, past and present. It does this primarily through the interpretation of its collections in pre-colonial, maritime and historical archaeology, as well as historical and contemporary collections. In addition collections from other parts of the world, from antiquity to the present, form part of our holdings.

Since 2005 members of the Department have been involved with packing the collections in preparation for the move to the newly refurbished Iziko Social History Centre in late 2009.

Several new appointments have been made, and attention has been given to staff training and advancement.

Collections Management

Collection Management deals with:

  • Care and management of the collections
  • Database development
  • Handling public enquiries and providing information on the collections
  • Making collections accessible for exhibition and research projects

Object Management and Access

Collections Manager: Lindsay Hooper
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3835
E-mail: lhooper@iziko.org.za

Lindsay Hooper deals with study and exhibition loans (outgoing and incoming). She is the contact person for access to collections for academic and exhibition research. Other projects include developing and implementing collections’ policies, including collections’ development, loans and access, and drawing up a Collections Manual of procedures for the Department.

She has knowledge of African cultural material, especially from southern Africa, and has particular interest in beadwork and the artefacts associated with domestic life.

Data management and Collections Integration

Collections Manager: Babalwa Ramncwana
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3834
E-mail: bramncwana@iziko.org.za

Babalwa Ramncwana is involved with basic documentation of the Social History collections, particularly with regard to documenting the movement the collections to the new Iziko Social History Centre.  She has been capturing database information with a view to collections integration. The objective main focus is to make the Social History Collections accessible through the establishment of an integrated database that brings together previously separate collections.

She has a particular interest in the field of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, with regard to both material objects and the value systems embodied in them.

Assistant Collections Manager: Thando Ncgangisa
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3834
E-mail: tngcangisa@iziko.org.za

Thando Ngcangisa is involved with all aspects of Collections Management, from care of the collections and database entry, to assisting research visitors.  Recently work has focused on packing the collections in preparation for the move to the new Iziko Social History Centre.

Collections Assistant: Ntombovuyo Tywakadi

Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3834
E-mail: ntywakadi@iziko.org.za

Ntombi Tywakadi assists with Collections Management as well as Conservation projects.  Recently work has focused on packing the collections in preparation for the move to the new Iziko Social History Centre.

Registrar: Lailah Hisham
Tel: +27 (0)21 467 4674
E-mail: lhisham@iziko.org.za

Lailah Hisham works as Registrar for both the Social History and Art Collections Departments.  As Registrar she is involved with maintaining the database, and she is also active with regard to dealing with requests for images and issues of copyright.


Preventative Conservator: June Hosford
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3915
E-mail: jhosford@iziko.org.za

June Hosford is responsible for preventive conservation of the collections. Special skills include preparing and mounting material for exhibition, as well as the preparation and packing of loan objects for transit.

Preventive Conservator: Caroline Wintein

Tel: +27 (0)21 464 1275
E-mail:  cwintein@iziko.org.za

Caroline Wintein is responsible for the preventive conservation of collections on open display, particularly at historical sites. Caroline is especially knowledgeable on the conservation of antique furniture.

Assistant Preventive Conservator: Fatima February
Tel: +27 (0)21 464 1281

E-mail: ffebruary@iziko.org.za

Fatima February assists the conservators with preventive conservation of collections, with an emphasis on storage and exhibition maintenance.  Fatima also mentors and trains front-of-house staff at Social History historical sites, through a training programme on the care of collections on open display.