2010-09-08The South African National Museum of Military History, situated in Johannesburg in the Province of Gauteng, is the only museum of its kind in South Africa. It provides a nucleus of Museum and military history expertise in southern Africa.
The Museum\'s collection of more than 44 000 items are divided into 37 separate categories and include the official South African war art (mentioned above) and photograph collections. The aviation collection contains some of the rarest aircraft in the world. For example, the Me 262 B-1a/U1 on display is the only night fighter version of this aircraft still in existence. Other categories cover such diverse fields as ordnance, armoured fighting vehicles, medals, uniforms, small arms, edged weapons, barrack & camping equipment, rations, religion, gifts & comforts, military music, graves & memorials, military insignia, communications, medicine, propaganda and vexillology, to name a few.
The Museum library has a unique collection of books, journals and archival material. Interviews are regularly conducted in the library as part of an ongoing oral history collection project. In this way, it ensures that previously unrecorded experiences of ordinary servicemen and women are preserved for posterity.
All the collections are curated and researched by graduates with many years of accumulated knowledge and expertise. Displays not only reflect historical aspects but also illustrate technological development in warfare. Two historic Bellman Hangars house a variety of thematic displays such as the Anglo-Zulu War, the Anglo-Boer War, South Africa\'s role in the First and Second World Wars, resistance movements such as Umkhonto-we-Sizwe, medicine in war, the development of combat uniforms and equipment, the development of firearms, resistance to war, and so on.
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