The Brenthurst Library



The Brenthurst Library

The Brenthurst Library is one of the finest privately owned Africana libraries. It grew out of the personal collections of its founders, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and his son Harry Oppenheimer, with the choice of material reflecting their interests and preferences. The library includes books, pamphlets, manuscripts, artworks and maps.

The focus is on the southern African region, but the collection also includes some material on East Africa, the islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and on the African continent as a whole. The collection spans the period from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. In various languages, subjects range across aspects of history - political and military, social, ethnographic and missionary, travel and exploration, biography; and also natural history, with a particular emphasis on early botanical publications.

The Library oversees The Brenthurst Press.


- The Library, a private institution, is open to researchers and visitors by appointment only.

- The Library catalogue is not available online.