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Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS): Home

Special Collections Music

Welcome to the DOMUS guide where you'll find information on all music special collections.

Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS)

The Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) is located in the Music Library, Stellenbosch University. DOMUS collections are mostly of South African importance, yet also of international significance.

We house close to 70 collections of South African composers, performers, researchers and music societies. Please see 'Collections' for an overview of our collections.

Eoan (1933-2023): Exhibition in Music Library foyer


(Photograph by Cloete Breytenbach, reproduced and used with permission from Mr Leon Breytenbach.)

The Eoan Group was founded by Helen Southern-Holt in District Six in 1933. It functioned as a cultural and welfare organisation and offered a wide range of activities that included ballet, folk dance, speech, drama, singing, painting and sewing. From 1956 until the late 1970s Eoan featured an active amateur opera section responsible for numerous arts festivals, annual opera seasons and tours throughout South Africa (1960 and 1965) and the United Kingdom (1975). At the invitation of Helen Southern-Holt, Joseph Salvatore Manca joined the Music Section as choral conductor in 1943. He developed the small choir into an amateur opera company who presented their first full-scale opera in 1956. The Eoan Group achieved great heights despite working under the constraints of Apartheid. Intensifying Apartheid legislation since the 1960s affected the Group’s morale, although they continued to perform whenever they could before mixed audiences. Forced to accept financial support from the Coloured Affairs Department, their standing and support in the community suffered. Eventually Apartheid legislation saw the total prohibition of mixed audiences. Complying with these requirements, the Eoan Group applied for permits to perform in the City Hall for mixed audiences from 1966 and onwards. Despite these conditions, the successes of the Group were widely reflected in ticket sales and in the press. After the destruction of District Six, the Eoan Group moved to their new premises in Athlone, now known as the Joseph Stone Theatre. After Manca’s resignation in 1977, the demise of the Eoan Opera Group was evident.

The Eoan (1933-2023) exhibition in the Music Library foyer makes use of photographs taken by Cloete Breytenbach (from the Cloete Breytenbach collection) and documentation from the Eoan collection. All are welcome to view the exhibition.

Collections at DOMUS

Nico Carstens collection

This presentation features documents from the collection of accordionist and composer Nico Carstens.


Reinventing the clay tablet

Unpacking the John Roos collection

John Roos (1946-2018) was coordinator of Unisa Music Foundation’s music tuition projects, served on board of STTEP outreach programme to learners from Mamelodi and Atteridgeville and acted as juror at national and international music competitions.

Clay tablets from this collection represent performances at the Tauromenium concert venue at his home, and are on display in the SU Music Library foyer.

The collection was donated by the Roos family, in collaboration with the Africa Open Institute.

[STTEP = SAMET (South African Music Education Trust) TPO (Transvaal Philharmonic Orchestra) Tshwane Education Project]

Special Collections Librarian, DOMUS

Profile Photo
Santie de Jongh
Musiekbiblioteek/Music Library
Departement Musiek/Department of Music
Privaatsak/Private Bag X1
Matieland 7602
+27 (0)21-808 2597