Monday, 19 July 2010

Bloemfontein Bantu and Coloured People's Directory available online

Biographical sources are supremely suited to digistisation and availability in online, full text formats. It was pleaseing to recently discover that much of John Mancoe's classic, and very long out of print, biographical directory, First edition of the Bloemfontein Bantu and Coloured People's Directory. Bloemfontein : A.C. White, 1934., is now available online at:

The directory lists members of the Native Advisory Board and Native Education Advisory Board, employees of the Government Civil Service, South African Railways and Harbours, General Post Office and South African Police, as well as the National and Mental Hospitals. There is information on churches and schools, Bantu commercial travellers, Bantu and Coloured boxers, musical combinations, motor mechanics and drivers, chefs and waiters, and "Organised Public Bodies and Societies" including the African National Congress, Industrial and Commercial Workers, Union of Africa (I.C.U.), Non-European Conference, Orange Free State Afiican Teachers' Association, (O.F.S.A.T.A.), Joint-Council of Europeans and Bantu, Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.), Independent Order of True Templars, (I.O.T.T.), Magasa Regiment, Barolong Land Fund ft Co, African Diugaka Association (A.D.A.), Bantu Masons' Association, Bantu Traders' Association, Bantu Taxi-Owners' Association and Barolong Burial Society.
The Cambridge History of Africa has described this Directory, along with publications such as Macmillan's Red Book of West Africa, 1920, M J Sampson's Gold Coast Men of Affairs, 1937, and Mweli Skota's African Yearly Register, c.1931, as an expression of the emergence of a new African middle class, and a reflection of the 'self-image' of this new class.

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