The Library

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The Library

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The Library -32.774800, 26.837100

The current university library was opened in 1970 and was designed to bear the weight of towering stacks of textbooks. But Fort Hare students had helped to articulate the philosophies of intellectual and political movements like Black Consciousness and Liberation Theology, and they hungered for far more than textbooks. Even when apartheid regulations barred access to “subversive” contemporary literature, the older classics inflamed students against tyranny. Today the library has shed the apartheid legacy and holds an impressive catalogue of books and several remarkable personal collections.

Students of the South African Native College, later Fort Hare, engrossed in their studies in a corner of an earlier library, circa 1957. This photo could have been taken in the original college library, which was housed in Stewart Hall. But it was more likely taken in the Howard Pim Library of Rare Books, which was located inside Henderson Hall from 1942, when its Carnegie-funded construction was completed. In 1970, it was moved into the newly completed library building which is still in use today. © Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives / University of KwaZulu-Natal