For several decades the South Africa House has managed a library with a unique collection of the biggest variety of South African literature in Europe. Researchers, teachers and students but also people that have a general interest in South African literature are welcome at the library. The biggest part of the collection is written in Afrikaans, English and Dutch. New additions to the library are listed in the Maandblad Zuid-Afrika and on our website.

The collection of the library contains:

  • About 52.000 titles;
  • About 40 subscriptions to magazines and newspapers;
  • About 550 titles of non-current magazines;
  • Audiovisual materials;
  • Archives of clippings about literature;
  • Photographic collection.

The catalog of the library of the can be accessed through the online catalog, but is also included in the NCC, and thus can be consulted via Picarta and Worldcat.
The library has an automatized catalogue and a copymachine available in the reading room. The collection of the library of the South Africa House can be consulted free of charge in the reading room. To borrow materials, membership (€ 16.00 per year, students € 6.00) is required.
Do you have any questions or should you require some information, send an e-mail to the librarian, Corine de Maijer: bibliotheek [at] zuidafrikahuis [dot] nl.

Opening hours library: Tuesday - Friday 10 - 16 hours

New additions

At regular intervals the library has new additions
Do you have suggestions for new additions? Send an e-mail to Corine de Maijer: bibliotheek [at] zuidafrikahuis [dot] nl


More than a century ago, a Dutch company constructed a railway in South-Africa. Between 1887 and 1899 there were thousands of Dutch people, often with their families, working for these Dutch-South-African-Railway-Society (NZASM) and who also then immigrated to South Africa. For most of them their stay was only for a short time: in time of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) half of the Dutch people in South Africa were sent out of the country by the British authorities. Some of them got work in of the then Dutch Indies. They could also have make a claim to receive financial help from the 'Support Fund for ex-NZASM personell'.

The South Africa House houses many treasures, most unknown, and contains biographical materials about these railway-poeple and their comings-and-goings after their return to the Netherlands. The files are a valuable resource for family-research, because they give a (sometimes very detailed) picture of the lives of these people in the Netherlands till 1940.

There is an alfabethical list of names of nearly 3000 employees who were working for the NZASM at the end of the nineteenth century or who have asked for help from the support fund. The list is made up from the archives at the Zuid-Afrikahuis. Please check via info [at] zuidafrikahuis [dot] nl whether the person /ancestor you are looking for is on this list.

Photographic archives

South Africa House has an extensive photo collection. This collection contains many unique photos with a historical character. The collection is an overview of the history of South Africa from the last 25 years, and also the Dutch-South-African part of the country's history. Special mention is reserved for the pictures of the Boer-republicans Transvaal and Oranje-Vrijstaat (1880-1902) and the Anglo-Boer War (1898-1902), and the portraits of the African literators and politicians.


The library of the South Africa House is connected to the Associated Amsterdam Libraries. Through this network, AdamNet, one can find millions of books, magazines, multimedia and information within Amsterdam and surroundings. The collection of the over 30 connected Amsterdam libraries can be searched through all at the same time via AdamNet Groupcatalogue.

South Africa House    Keizersgracht 141-C    1015 CK Amsterdam    The Netherlands    tel: +31-20-6249318    fax: +31-20-6382596