Scope and Content
Title: Mary Benson research material about the African National Congress, South Africa
Date (inclusive): 1961-1962
Collection number: 803
1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: A collection of research notes related to the South African political history and the African National Congress taken by political
activist, bureaucrat, and biographer, Mary Benson, during the course of her political career, 1940s to the mid 1960s.
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mary Benson, April 19, 1963.
Processed by Jesse Erickson in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Megan Fraser, August
[Identification of item], Mary Benson research material about the African National Congress, South Africa (Collection 803).
UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.
Mary Benson was born on December 9, 1919 in Pretoria, South Africa. She attended school in Australia. After her studies, she
became secretary with British High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa from 1940 to 1941. She worked with the film director
David Lean in London from 1947 to 1949. Subsequently she became the co-founder and secretary of Africa Bureau, London from
the years 1950 to 1957. Benson lobbied in England and at the United Nations on South African issues and was active in the
African Development Trust and National Campaign for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. She was also a known activist against
apartheid. Benson left South Africa and became a political exile in London in 1966. Her publications include
Tshekedi Khama (1960),
Chief Albert Lutuli of South Africa (1963),
The African patriots: the story of the African National Congress of South Africa (1963),
At the still point (1970), and
Nelson Mandala (1980).
Scope and Content
A collection of anti-apartheid activist Mary Benson's research notes covering a wide array of politically related topics from
the 1940s through the 1960s pertaining to African and South African government, civics, activists, and politicians. The formation
and delegation of the African National Congress is a central theme among the various topics. With the exception of the notes
found in the notebooks, most of the collection materials were typeset and include extensive annotations written throughout
the body of the works. The notes also include Benson's personal remarks and opinions on various African political figures,
and the annotations indicate sections from the notes that were ultimately disregarded, potentially drawn upon, or wholly included
in her subsequent publications.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
African National Congress --History --Archival resources.
Women authors--South Africa--Archival resources.
Women anti-apartheid activists --South Africa --Archival resources.
South Africa--Politics and government.