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Special Collections: Rare Books

This guide provide information on Special Collections, consisting of Africana, Rare Books and Manuscripts and DOMUS, including usage and policies

About Rare Books

A collection of valuable and rare books on a wide range of subjects – a treasure trove of curiosities in print.

  • Books, rare and unique in terms of scarcity, age, value, physical appearance and subject matter are collected.
  • The collection preserves books dating from the 15th century up to the present day on a variety of subjects, including art, the sciences, religion, history, literature and popular culture.
  • The Rare Books section was established in the late 1960s to provide for the safekeeping of valuable art books and other rare materials.
  • When the University acquired the extensive library of the late Commander Michael Scott the collection was enriched by many first editions, leather-bound volumes and other treasures.

Book of the Month


A reproduction of the diary of Lady Angelica Cottington, which features pressed garden fairies.

Prefixes used at Special Collections (Rare Books Section)

BV - Rare books (Beskermde Versameling)

K1 - Kruger: Prize winners

K2 - Kruger: Fiction

K3 - Kruger: Afrikaans en die Klassieke

K4 - Kruger: Text books

BV1 - Art literature

BV2 - South African literature

BV3 - School literature

BV4 - Children's literature

BVpam - African languages

Rare Books during COVID-19 period

The Rare books section is closed for walk-ins and for browsing. 

Contact the Librarian on duty if there is a book you need in Rare books.

  • Special Collections  is accessible to students and staff of Stellenbosch University
  • Researchers allowed by appointment only.
  • Email us at with your request or to book a visit

Some of our collections in the Rare Books section



Marieta Buys

Head: Special Collections


Telephone: 021 808 4930