Dennis Brutus archive

Scope and Content

The Dennis Brutus Papers comprise personal and professional correspondence, papers associated with specific organizations and events, a large collection of newspaper cuttings on sport and apartheid in South Africa and numerous drafts of poems, both handwritten and typed. Materials date from 1961-1992.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1924, Dennis Brutus was a South African-born poet and human rights activist who spearheaded a successful campaign to ban apartheid South Africa from international sport competitions. He founded the South African Sports Association in 1961 and the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SAN-ROC) in 1963, and was subsequently arrested and jailed, placed under house arrest, and banned from all literary, academic and political activities. He went into exile in 1966 and lived in the United States from 1970, emerging over the years as a prominent lecturer and author, a professor of African literature and a major spokesperson in the international movement to end apartheid in South Africa.


7 boxes, containing 38 numbered folders.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Please email: , giving at least two working days notice.

Further details about access to our collections are available on our website.

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for the manuscript material on the Special Collections website .

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscripts, printed documents, photographs and physical objects

Archivist's Note

Description prepared by Jemima Jarman and supervised by Katie Flanagan

Conditions Governing Use

The material, unless otherwise indicated, is protected by copyright. You are unable to publish, in full or in part, without the permission of the copyright holder. However, you may use the material as permitted under statutory exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, e.g. quote for purposes of scholarship within the limits of fair dealing.

Related Material

Dennis Brutus Papers, 1970-1990 at the New York Public Library

Dennis Brutus Papers, 1960-1984, Northwestern University Library

Dennis Brutus Papers, 1958-1972, York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research

Dennis Brutus Online Archive, Centre for Civil Society

Personal Names

Corporate Names