As part of One World Week on the campus we have a couple of Special Collections displays in the library.
On the ground floor are copies of items from the BICMEM collection. The Brunel Institute for Contemporary Middle Eastern Music, the first of its kind in the world, is a library of scores, manuscripts and recordings, a database of Middle Eastern composers and musicians, and a research centre. The scores, manuscripts and recordings are housed in Special Collections.
In the Research Commons there is a small display from the Dennis Brutus Archive. Dennis Brutus was a Black South African who was a teacher, poet and anti-apartheid campaigner. While he was a teacher he realised that Black sportsmen were not granted the recognition they deserved, and he became a co-founder of the South African Sports Association in 1959. He then went on to help start SAN-ROC, the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee. Brutus was later exiled from South Africa, and moved to Britain and then the USA, where he became Professor of African Literature at Pittsburgh University.
We have a small archive about Dennis Brutus in our Special Collections. It is mainly concerned with his SAN-ROC activities, and his political actions, and holds material such as newspaper clippings and letters.
Some of the items in the One World Week display tell a harrowing story; his application for a visa to South Africa states that he had six convictions under the apartheid laws. There are airmail letters to his wife, written when she was in England and he was in America, with stamps showing Martin Luther King Jr. We have his birth certificate, stating that his mother was “Cape coloured,” and his South African departure permit, with his photograph showing a calm and determined man.
This display will be in the Research Commons until the end of this term. You are welcome to come and discover more about this iconic figure.