The Luthuli Museum is a national cultural institution charged with conserving, upholding, promoting and propagating the life, values, philosophies and legacy of the late Chief Albert Luthuli.
This mission statement has guided the museum’s collections policy since 2004 when it was established as a national legacy project. Given that under the apartheid regime most documents, correspondence and literature generated by Chief Luthuli were banned, confiscated or located outside South Africa, at the time of the Luthuli Museum’s inauguration the only surviving artefact on site was the physical home of Chief Luthuli.
The benefit was that the Luthuli Museum was unhindered by the collections and curatorial baggage of those museums instituted during the colonial and apartheid periods. This has allowed the Luthuli Museum to engage in a new museology concerned as much with memory and the intangible as with more conventional museum artefacts. Since its formation, the Luthuli Museum has subsequently been involved in a rigorous process of collecting and repatriating oral histories, photographs, paintings, documents and other artefacts to assist with developing knowledge about the Legacy of Chief Luthuli and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa. As part of the Digitisation Project, the Luthuli Museum has made several collections’ items available in this online catalogue.
Since digital catalogues are only proxies for actual artefacts, we invite you to visit us in Groutville so that we can show you around the Luthuli Museum in person. In the meantime, enjoy your virtual tour!