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The Namibia Support Committee started in 1969 as the Friends of Namibia in order to support Namibian liberation movements and assist individual liberation activists. In 1971, when the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) had been recognised as the 'sole and authentic representative' of the Namibian people, it became a solidarity group to assist SWAPO. It was recognised by the UN Council for Namibia and was renamed the Namibia Support Committee. The Committee aimed to raise public awareness of the country's particular problems and was active in organising meetings, lobbying Parliament, etc, while in its solidarity function it arranged the transport of supplies to SWAPO's camps in Angola and Zambia. Much of its work was supervised by its sub-groups, including the Health Collective, Campaign Against Namibian Uranium Contracts and the SWAPO Women's Solidarity Campaign. Originally based in London, the Committee built itself into a national campaign from 1986 with a network of local Namibia Support Groups. It became a registered company in 1990 (the same year that Namibia gained its independence from South Africa) and was wound up in 1993. It has since been revived as a friendship society between Britain and Namibia under the titles Friends of Namibia Society and Friends of Namibia (Scotland).
The Committee sent a quantity of the organisation's pre-1985 archival and printed material to the Estorff Reference Library (now part of the Namibian State Archives) in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1992. Some other material was lost, either to flood damage when it was housed in a basement at the SWAPO offices in Gillespie Road, or during two separate Committee office moves (the latter involving mostly routine administrative correspondence).Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the library by the Namibia Support Committee in 1996. They arrived in considerable disorder, with no obvious previous filing system. This has necessitated a major re-arrangement of the material. Where original files did exist these are noted in the handlist; most of the final arrangement of the collection, however, has been imposed since its receipt.Accruals
Material relating to the Committee's Centenary Conference 'Namibia 1884-1984', and reports of visits to Namibia by Committee members and others and of visits to Great Britain by Namibians invited by the Committee, [1981-1992] was donated by Randolph Vigne. Minutes, correspondence, publications and other papers concerning the Committee and related organisations was accumulated and donated by Jenny Morgan on 16th February 2001 (though this has not yet been catalogued).Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
A handlist is available in the library reading room.Related Units of Description
Some pre-1985 archival and printed material relating to the Committee is housed at the Estorff Reference Library (part of the Namibian State Archives) in Windhoek, Namibia. The Estorff Reference Library also holds the papers of Randolph Vigne, 1969-1980s.
Namibia Support Committee | 1977-1993
Campaign Against Namibian Uranium Contracts | fl 1976-1992
SWAPO Women's Solidarity Campaign | fl 1980-c1991
Health Collective | Namibia | fl 1977-1989
Release All Political Prisoners | Namibia | fl 1984-1986
Trade Union Group | Namibia | fl 1986-1991
Catholic Institute for International Relations | fl 1978-1992
Anti-Apartheid Movement | 1959 - 1994
One World Action | fl 1991-1992
South West Africa People's Organisation | fl c1969-200-
Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations Forum | fl 1986-1993
South Africa | History | 1960-
Namibia | History | Autonomy and independence movements
Anti-nuclear movement | Namibia | 20th century
Feminism | Namibia | 20th century
Political prisoners | Namibia | 20th century
Trade unions | Namibia | 20th century