Papers of the Namibia Support Committee

Scope and Content

  • Minutes and papers of policy-making bodies, 1981-1993
  • Records relating to the Committee's London administration, including minutes,accounts, funding applications, correspondence, papers relating to staff andmembership, press releases and reports, [1981-1993]
  • Records of the Campaign Against Namibian Uranium Contracts (CANUC), including minutes,funding applications, correspondence, reports, papers relating to particularcampaigns and events, and publications, [1977-1992]
  • Campaign reports, minutes, publications, photographs, etc. relating to the SWAPOWomen's Solidarity Campaign (SWSC), 1980-1991
  • Campaign leaflets, correspondence, photographs, etc. relating to the HealthCollective, 1977-1989
  • Papers relating to the Release All Political Prisoners campaign, with lists ofNamibian political prisoners, 1984-1986
  • Reports, minutes, leaflets, etc. relating to the Trade Union Group, 1977-1991
  • Papers relating to other campaigns and projects, 1980-1993
  • Papers relating to national events organised by the Committee, 1980-1992
  • Publications and related papers, 1979-1993
  • Memoranda, correspondence, reports, minutes, posters, etc. produced by and relatingto local Namibia Support Groups, 1986-1991
  • Minutes, correspondence, etc. relating to inter-agency campaigns with Committeerepresentation, 1988-1992
  • Papers of other British and international organisations, 1977-1992
  • Papers of other Namibian organisations, c1969-1993
  • Photographs, [1967-1991]
  • Merchandise and banners, 1970s-1990s

Administrative / Biographical History

The Namibia Support Committee started in 1969 as the Friends of Namibia in orderto support Namibian liberation movements and assist individual liberationactivists. In 1971, when the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO)had been recognised as the 'sole and authentic representative' of the Namibianpeople, it became a solidarity group to assist SWAPO. It was recognised bythe UN Council for Namibia and was renamed the Namibia Support Committee. TheCommittee aimed to raise public awareness of the country's particular problemsand was active in organising meetings, lobbying Parliament, etc, while in itssolidarity function it arranged the transport of supplies to SWAPO's campsin Angola and Zambia. Much of its work was supervised by its sub-groups,including the Health Collective, Campaign Against Namibian Uranium Contractsand the SWAPO Women's Solidarity Campaign. Originally based in London, theCommittee built itself into a national campaign from 1986 with a network oflocal Namibia Support Groups. It became a registered company in 1990 (the sameyear that Namibia gained its independence from South Africa) and was wound upin 1993. It has since been revived as a friendship society between Britainand Namibia under the titles Friends of Namibia Society and Friends of Namibia(Scotland).

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available in the library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Custodial History

The Committee sent a quantity of the organisation's pre-1985 archival andprinted material to the Estorff Reference Library (now part of the NamibianState Archives) in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1992. Some other material was lost, eitherto flood damage when it was housed in a basement at the SWAPO offices inGillespie Road, or during two separate Committee office moves (the latter involving mostlyroutine administrative correspondence).


Material relating to the Committee's Centenary Conference 'Namibia 1884-1984',and reports of visits to Namibia by Committee members and others andof visits to Great Britain by Namibians invited by the Committee, [1981-1992]was donated by Randolph Vigne. Minutes, correspondence, publications and other papersconcerning the Committee and related organisations was accumulated and donated byJenny Morgan on 16th February 2001 (though this has not yet been catalogued).

Related Material

Some pre-1985 archival and printed material relating to the Committee is housedat the Estorff Reference Library (part of the Namibian State Archives) inWindhoek, Namibia. The Estorff Reference Library also holds the papers ofRandolph Vigne, 1969-1980s.