The Bleek Collection

Documentary heritage submitted by South Africa and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2009.

© National Library of South Africa

The Bleek Collection consists of papers of Dr W.H.I. Bleek (1827-1875), his sister-in-law Lucy Lloyd (1834-1914), his daughter Dorothea Bleek (1873-1948) and G.W. Stow (1822-1882) relating to their researches into the San (Bushman) language and folklore, as well as albums of photographs. Bleek developed a phonetic script for transcribing the characteristic clicks and sounds of the ½Xam language which is used by linguists to this day. Although some of the material was published by Lucy Lloyd and Dorothea Bleek, a great deal remains unpublished. The material provides an invaluable and unique insight into the language, life, religion, mythology, folklore and stories of this late Stone Age people.

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