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old HIS 100 - Perspectives in History

Research guidance and example sources for HIS100 Perspectives in History research assignment.

Primary Sources


Here are a few examples of primary sources for the Apartheid. They include a letter and a speech written by Nelson Mandela, who was a key figure in the resistance against the Apartheid. He was arrested in 1962 on suspicion of trying to overthrow the government and he was sentenced to life in prison in 1964, where he continued to lead and influence the opposition.

Mandela, N. (1961). Second letter from Nelson Mandela to Hendrik Verwoerd, 26 June 1961.

This is a letter that Mandela wrote to the South African Prime Minister shortly before his arrest and imprisonment, urging Verwoerd to call a national convention to create a new non-racial constitution. The letter gives us a glimpse of the oppression experienced by black people and shows us the lengths Mandela was willing to go to for equality and justice.

Mandela, N. (1990). Apartheid has no future. Vital Speeches of the Day, 56(10), 295–297. 

This is the speech that Mandela delivered on February 11, 1990, when he was released from prison. Mandela's words show us that he continued to fight against Apartheid while imprisoned, and that he supported the current president in moving towards a democratic society for all.

Searching for More


Here are some additional resources that you can use as you continue your research. The following resource is an online collection of South African primary resources. It is not a library database, but it includes extensive collections of primary sources.

The following library databases include primary sources, but you may want to limit your searches to see only primary sources. You can use Apartheid and Nelson Mandela as keywords to search in these databases. To broaden your research, think about some of the other key figures in the Apartheid or the resistance movement (hint: use the Research Starter and our tips for Background Research to identify other people's names).