BUNCHE, Ralph Johnson (1904-1971)

Scope and Content

Photocopy of typescript diary of a visit to South Africa by Ralph Johnson Bunche, 1 October - 31 December 1937, recording the impressions of an African American on South Africa; subjects include race relations; black living conditions in the reserves, mines and townships; black political and labour leaders and organisations, education, health care and the legal system. There is an account of the Silver Anniversary meeting of the African National Congress in Bloemfontein in December 1937.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ralph Johnson Bunche b 1904; educated at University of California, Los Angeles (AB), Harvard University (AM, PhD); Chairman, Dept of Political Science, Howard University, Washington DC, 1928-1950; Director, Trusteeship Department, Unted Nations, 1946-1954; acting UN Mediator on Palestine, 1948-1949; awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Middle East, 1950; Professor of Government, Harvard, 1950-1952; UN Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs, 1954-1967; UN Special Representative in the Congo, 1960; UN Under Secretary-General, 1968-1971.


Single item

Access Information

Open although advance notice should be given.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Dr Robert Edgar, via Baruch Hirson, 1986

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of ICS Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or quote from, original documents should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Related Material

The ICS holds a large number of collections relating to South African politics, including African National Congress (ICS 1), Mary Benson (ICS 6), Ruth First (ICS 117), Marion Friedmann (ICS 20), Ruth Hayman (ICS 30)Baruch Hirson (ICS 32), Mandela Trials papers (ICS 52), Josie Palmer (ICS 57), South African Institute of Race Relations (ICS 95), Edward Roux (ICS 67), University of Cape Town (ICS 81-82), University of Transkei (ICS 19).

Location of Originals

Not known


The diary has been published as An African American in South Africa: the travel notes of Ralph J Bunche, 28 September 1937 - 1 January 1938 edited by Robert Edgar (Ohio University Press, 1992).