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A Guide to the Gwendolen M. Carter Collection

Finding aid created by Dan Reboussin and Danielle Altman

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2006

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Carter, Gwendolen Margaret, 1906-1991
Title: Gwendolen M. Carter Collection
Dates: 1932-1991
Bulk dates: 1970-1987
Abstract: The Carter Collection is comprised of the research and personal files of Gwendolen Carter. The papers are predominantly related to her research of southern Africa, particularly South Africa, during the 1970s and 1980s.
Extent: 5.5 Linear feet. 14 Boxes.
Identification: MS Group 193
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Gwendolen Margaret Carter was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1906. The daughter of a physician, she completed a B.A. in history at the University of Toronto in 1929. She received a second B.A. from Oxford in 1931 and returned to Hamilton, Ontario to teach at McMaster University until 1935.

Carter came to the United States to undertake graduate study at Radcliffe College, where she completed both her M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1938) in political science. Naturalized as a US citizen in 1948, she taught political science at Smith College from 1943 to 1964, holding the Sophia Smith chair there from 1961. She was then at Northwestern University from 1964-1974 as Melville J. Herskovits Professor of African Affairs. She taught at Indiana University 1974-1984 and was on faculty at the University of Florida from 1984 until her retirement in 1987.

While Carter's early work focused on European governance, her scholarly attention shifted to Africa following an initial trip to South Africa in 1948. From then on, she specialized in the politics and economy of southern Africa over the course of a career that spanned more than forty years. Carter's many research trips to South Africa culminated in numerous publications, several of which have become classic texts in both political science and African studies. These canonical works, which detail the dynamics of political change in Africa, include: The Politics of Inequality: South Africa Since 1948 (1958); Independence for Africa (1960); South Africa's Transkei: The Politics of Domestic Colonialism (1967); and Which Way is South Africa Going? (1980). She edited several works about Africa, including the four-volume From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882-1964 (1972-1977).

Professor Carter was one of the founders of African Studies in the US and was amongst the most widely known scholars of African affairs in the twentieth century. She was 84 years old when she died at her home in Orange City, Florida on February 20, 1991.

Scope and Content

The Gwendolen M. Carter Collection encompasses the research and personal files of Gwendolen Carter, dating primarily from 1970 to 1987. A small amount of material from the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s is included. The papers are predominantly related to her research into the political and economic dynamics of southern Africa, particularly South Africa, during the 1970s and 1980s.

The collection includes correspondence, press clippings, newsletters, political pamphlets, manuscripts, papers for presentation, writings, memorandum, research notes, speeches, interview transcripts and a small number of photographs, souvenir ephemera and postcards. Carter made a number of research trips to southern Africa during the years covered by the collection and the papers comprise excellent documentation of her activities while abroad.

A substantial amount of the collection relates to Carter's work with the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), including transcripts of interviews, correspondence and research notes which emerged out of her contacts with well-known political activists and politicians based in southern Africa. Documents, speeches, and letters relating to Julius Nyerere, Seretse Khama, Gatsha Buthelezi, Steve Biko and Helen Joseph are particularly well-represented. The collection also includes a considerable number of materials pertaining to detention, the 1984 South African Constitution and the Transkei.

The papers also contain a wide-ranging collection of newsletters, memoranda and pamphlets of organizations involved in anti-apartheid activities such as the Black Sash; the South African Institute of Race Relations; the Wages Commission; and the Detainees Parents Support Commission. Also included are numerous press clippings from South Africa and North America, relating to a broad range of issues facing southern Africa. In addition, the papers include a wide array of writings (drafts of papers, book chapters and conference papers), correspondence from Carter's academic colleagues and friends and early drafts of Carter's published works. One notable inclusion is a copy of Carter's substantial typescript autobiography (unpublished), which details her childhood and 40 years of personal and research experiences in southern Africa and North America. The papers are organized into two main sections: Personal Materials (1932-1991) and Research Materials (1932-1987).

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Northwestern University Archives holds the Gwendolen M. Carter Papers, 1915-1991 (Series 35/10, Africana Manuscripts 10). This collection spans the years 1915-1991 and includes biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, research and field notes, reprints and manuscript drafts, and several clippings scrapbooks. Carter was the Director of Northwestern's Program of African Studies, 1964-1974.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in the Carter collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Gwendolen M. Carter Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

Personal Materials, 1932-1991

Personal materials consist of letters, photographs, postcards, souvenirs, the Carter autobiography, a small scrapbook and interviews of Carter. Personal materials are divided into two sections: Correspondence and Personal Files. The correspondence relates to a wide range of personal, academic, legal and professional matters. The folder containing correspondence between Helen Joseph and Carter also includes a wide array of press clippings about Helen Joseph and letters pertaining to the publication of her autobiography.

Correspondence, 1932-1991

General correspondence includes letters from politicians, academics and friends in the US and Africa. The Buthelezi correspondence predominantly relates to political issues in KwaZulu Natal and South Africa. One 13 page letter, addressed to Ms. Frances Vieta and describing Kenya's Independence day activities on Dec. 12, 1963, is included in photocopy from the original at Northwestern University's Herskovits Library. The Helen Joseph correspondence includes both personal and professional correspondence relating to Carter's facilitation of the publication of Joseph's autobiography Side By Side. The folder also contains extensive newspaper clippings about Joseph. Noteworthy photographs include those of Buthelezi and Julius Nyerere.

1 Correspondence, general. 1973-1980
1 Correspondence, general. 1981
1 Correspondence, general. 1982
1 Correspondence, general. 1983
1 Correspondence, general. 1984
1 Correspondence, general. 1985
1 Correspondence, general. 1986
2 Correspondence, general. 1987
2 Correspondence, Gatsha Buthelezi-Carter. 1964-1977
2 Correspondence, Frances Vieta. 1963
2 Correspondence, Helen Joseph-Carter. 1981-1986
2 Carter Christmas letters. 1965-1983
2 Photographs, postcards, souvenirs [Note: some photographs have been reproduced digitally and are available online]. 1932-1974, n.d.

Personal Files, 1932-1991

Carter's sizeable autobiography details her childhood and career. Due to its size, the autobiography is divided into multiple folders. Also, there is one folder containing duplicate chapters. The scrapbook includes photographs and speeches from an African Studies Association special tribute to Carter held at the annual meeting in 1991. The interviews of Carter, conducted by colleagues Tom Karis and Patrick O'Meara, feature Carter's reflections on her career.

3 Carter autobiography. n.d.
3 Carter autobiography (continued). n.d.
3 Carter autobiography (continued). n.d.
3 Carter autobiography (duplicate chapters). n.d.
3 Scrapbook of ASA special tribute to Carter. 1991
3 Transcripts of interviews of Carter (conducted by Tom Karis). n.d.
3 Videotape recording (VHS cassette) of interview of Carter (conducted by Patrick O'Meara). n.d.

Research Materials, 1932-1987

Research materials consist of papers relating to Carter's research into the politics and economy of southern Africa, primarily South Africa. It is divided into four sections: Subject Files, Miscellaneous Papers, Speeches and Interviews, and Writings. Items are arranged in alphabetical order (except for Miscellaneous Papers) and filed chronologically within this schema.

Subject Files, 1932-1987

The subject files contain extensive materials relating to the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), including meeting minutes, paper drafts, research notes and memoranda. A noteworthy feature includes Carter's narrative of her 1982 trip through southern Africa as part of her research concerning the SADCC. This includes transcripts of interviews she conducted at the time and notes about her meetings with various African politicians.

Other well-represented subjects include: Gatsha Buthelezi; the Black Sash (including numerous memoranda and newsletters written by Sheena Duncan); the 1984 South African Constitution (covering apartheid state officials' writings and reports); the South African Institute of Race Relations (encompassing numerous meeting minutes); and the Transkei (particularly materials relating to economic investment in the Transkei and the independence of the Transkei).

4 African National Congress. 1943-1983, n.d.
4 Black Allied Worker's Union. 1973-1977, n.d.
4 Black Consciousness. 1977-1979, n.d.
4 Black Sash and Sheena Duncan. 1979-1982
4 Biko, Steve. 1976-1977, n.d.
4 Buthelezi, Gatsha and the Buthelezi Commission. 1972-1982, n.d.
4 CAMP/SARAP. 1978-1979, n.d.
4 Center for African Studies, University of Florida. 1987
4 Conferences, political. 1974-1975
4 Country-specific materials (Southern Africa). 1932-1982, n.d.
5 Detention and the Detainees Parent's Support Commission. 1976-1985, n.d.
5 DPSC memoranda. 1983
5 Disinvestment. 1980
5 Government Directed Community Councils. 1979-1984, n.d.
5 Progressive Federal Party. 1978
5 South Africa - Apartheid. 1953-1986, n.d.
5 South Africa - Constitution (1984). 1978-1984, n.d.
5 South Africa - Labor and Trade Unions. 1975-1980, n.d.
5 South African Institute of Race Relations. 1973-1986, n.d.
6 SADCC. 1976-1978
6 SADCC. 1981
6 SADCC. 1981
6 SADCC. 1981
6 SADCC. 1982
7 SADCC, Carter trip narrative. 1982
7 SADCC. 1983
7 SADCC. 1984-1986
7 SADCC. n.d.
7 Sports (Southern Africa). 1973-1981, n.d
7 Transkei. 1936-1978
7 Terror Act Trials (Index to the Indictment). 1978
7 The Wages Commission. 1973-1984, n.d.

Speeches and Interviews, 1932-1987

Speeches include an extensive selection of speeches Buthelezi delivered at social and political events during the years 1970-1986. Also included is a broad collection of speeches delivered by Khama during the years 1966-1973. Miscellaneous speeches include addresses delivered by apartheid state officials; liberation movement activists, political leaders and academics. The interview transcripts encompass those Carter collected on her many research trips to southern Africa. Interview subjects include a range of African politicians, apartheid state officials and academics.

8 Speeches, Gatsha Buthelezi. 1970-1975
8 Speeches, Gatsha Buthelezi. 1976-1977
8 Speeches, Gatsha Buthelezi. 1980
8 Speeches, Gatsha Buthelezi. 1981-1982
8 Speeches, Gatsha Buthelezi. 1982-1986
9 Speeches, Seretse Khama. 1966-1969
9 Speeches, Seretse Khama. 1969
9 Speeches, Seretse Khama. 1970-1971
9 Speeches, Seretse Khama. 1971-1973
9 Speeches, Julius Nyerere. 1969-1982
10 Speeches, miscellaneous. 1971-1976
10 Speeches, miscellaneous. 1979-1981
10 Speeches, miscellaneous. 1983-1987, n.d.
10 Transcripts of interviews (conducted by Carter). 1972-1976
10 Dr. Willem Kleynhaus, [University of South Africa, 1972]
10 Fatima Meer, [Unviersity of Natal, 1972]
10 Ray Tucker, [1972]
10 Colin Legum, [Ethiopia, 1973]
10 Ben Turok, [London, 1973]
10 Yvonne Methuen, [1976]
10 Transcripts of interviews (conducted by Carter). 1979-1981
10 Jan Rabie, [1979]
10 Freda van Rooyen, [1979]
10 Ntatlo Motlana, [1979]
10 Leonard Mosala, [Washington D. C., 1979]
10 Robert Mugabe, [1980]
10 Meryvn M. Mutloane, [1981]
10 Itinerary for trip to South Africa, [1981]
10 Peter Molotsi, [1981]
10 Oliver Tambo, [1981]
10 Transcripts of interviews (conducted by Carter). 1982
10 Pauline Baker, [1982]
10 Pedro Fegueiredo, [Maputo, 1982]
10 Tony Krazner, [Mbabane, 1982]
10 Peter Mmusi, [Gaberone, 1982]
10 Ruth Weiss, [London, 1982]
10 Nadine Gordimer and Susan Geiger, [1982]
10 Dale Pfeiffer, [Salisbury, 1982]
10 David Anderson, [London, 1982]
10 Miscellaneous, [1982]
10 Paul Spray, [London, 1982]
10 David Jones, [Nairobi, 1982]
10 Steve Lombard, [Zimbabwe, 1982]
10 Peter Murphy, [Zimbabwe, 1982]
10 E. R. Sekhonyana, [Maseru, 1982]
10 Transcripts of interviews (conducted by Carter). 1984-1985, n.d.
10 Hazel Mullman, [Johannesburg, 1984]
10 Shena Duncan,[Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Jonh Reese, [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Monty Nasiv, [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Godfret Pitje, Sello Hlongwane, and Stanley Moshidi, [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 UDF [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Alestair H. Sparks [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Ruth Emory [1985]
10 John Dugard [1985]
10 Ishmael M'khabela, Ntjannu Habedi, and Joh Seoke [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Buntu Mfenyana [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Tom Mantatz [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Dr. Johan Cloete [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Mohammed Dangor [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Schlemmer [Durban, 1985]
10 Roli Arenstein [Durban, 1985]
10 Rabie Bagwandeen and R. Ramesar [Durban, 1985]
10 Inka Mars [Durban, 1985]
10 Obed Konenee [Durban, 1985]
10 Ela Hamgoben [Durban, 1985]
10 Johann van Denyver [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 David Webster [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Winnie Mandela [Johannesburg, 1985]
10 Professor Elaine Botha and Lourens du Plessis
10 Emang M. Maphanyane, [Gaberonnes]
10 Profiles of eight treason trialists
10 Tjaart van der Walt, [Potchefstroom, South Africa]
10 Class session, [Potchefstroom, South Africa]
10 Theuns Eloff
10 Oasia Casalla
10 Anthony M. Hawkins, [Harare, Zimbabwe]
10 Dr. Joseph Hulse, [Ottawa, Canada]
10 Clark Farr, [Harare, Zimbabwe]
10 Unknown interviewee

Writings, 1932-1987

Writings encompass conference papers, book chapters, manuscripts, drafts, articles and papers for presentation.

11 Adams, John. 1973
11 African Collection, Yale University Library. 1977
11 Alverson, Hoyt S. 1971
11 Barker, Anthony. 1974
11 Brown, Ed. 1983
11 Cheru, Fantu. 1986
11 Coplan, David. 1980
11 de Klerk, Michael. 1978
11 Duminy, J.P. 1979
11 du Toit, Andre. 1981
11 Fourie, Clarissa. 1986
11 Gann, Lewis H. 1972
11 Giliomee, Herman. 1980, 1984
11 Green, Rosario. 1983
11 Grundy, Ken. 1987
11 Hachten, William A. 1984
11 Hallet, Robin. 1978
11 Hallowes, F.N. 1974
11 Hawkins, Anthony M. 1986
11 Herman, Pam. 1982
11 Houser, George. n.d.
11 Johns, Sheridan. 1973
11 Karis, Tom. 1986, n.d.
11 Kentridge, Sydney. 1986
11 Kimambo, Isaria N. n.d.
11 Kuhne, H. 1984
11 Lewis, Stephen R. Jr. 1986
11 Lipton, Merle. 1986
11 Lipton, Michael. 1986
11 Massdorp, Gavin. 1972, 1974
11 Maluleke, George. n.d.
11 Mandy, Nigel S. 1979
11 McGowan. 1974
11 McHenry, Donald. 1984
11 van der Merwe, H.W. 1985
11 Mkandawire, Thandika. n.d.
11 Mokoatle, B.N. 1979
11 Mondlane, Janet Rae. n.d.
12 Ndlovu, Scotch, M. 1981
12 Nziramasanga, Mudziviri. 1986
12 Ould, C.R. n.d.
12 Patricios, Nicholas N. 1980
12 Plimpton, Ruth. 1964
12 Roelofse, Eugene. 1979
12 Rosberg, Carl G. 1984
12 Sands, Laura. 1973
12 Scarrit, James R. 1983
12 Simpson, J.D. n.d.
12 Southall, Roger. 1982
12 Starke, Helen. 1979
12 Suzman, Helen. 1974
12 Vieceli, Jackie. 1987, n.d.
12 Webster, E.C. n.d.
12 Wright, John. 1978
12 No Author. n.d.
12 Carter, Gwendolen, "Conflicting Aims in Southern Africa." n.d.
12 Carter, Gwendolen, "Politics of Inequality." n.d.
12 Carter, Gwendolen, Miscellaneous. 1953-1983, n.d.

Miscellaneous Papers, 1932-1987

Miscellaneous papers include miscellaneous, handwritten and typewritten research notes that Carter made; a substantial amount of press clippings; miscellaneous newsletters, memorandum, and political pamphlets generated by political organizations and research institutions not represented in the subject files. Course materials relate solely to Carter's 1981 seminar concerning South Africa and Zimbabwe, including syllabi, one student paper, and Carter's notes.

13 Research notes. 1974-1987
13 Press clippings. 1972-1988
13 Newsletters, memoranda and political pamphlets. 1964-1987
14 Journals, reports and occasional Papers. 1967-1990
14 Legal documents. 1934-85
14 Academic conference packets. 1958-1984
14 Academic conference packets. 1987
14 Course materials. 1981
14 Gwendolen Carter obituary. 1991

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Africa -- Politics and government.
Apartheid -- South Africa.
South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1948-1994.
Southern African Development Coordination Conference.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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