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South Africa had two national libraries, the South African Library in Cape Town (founded in 1818), and the State Library in Pretoria (founded in 1887). In November 1999, the two national libraries were amalgamated to form the National Library of South Africa (NLSA).
The dual library contains a wealth of information. To ensure that knowledge is not lost to posterity, the NLSA collects and preserves published documents and makes them accessible to the public, libraries, publishers and authors for research purposes.
The National Library's collections include rare manuscripts, books published in South Africa, periodicals, government publications, official foreign publications, maps, technical reports, Africana and newspapers. Some of these are available on CD or microfilm, in digital format or online.
In addition to a large archive and a number of databases, the NLSA maintains the Centre for the Book. This promotes the writing, publishing, reading, marketing and distribution of South African books in all official languages. Its aim is to foster a literary culture in South Africa.