About Us

The Hidden Years Music Archive was donated to Stellenbosch University in 2013 by David Marks. Our purpose has been to sort the material and make it available online in a way that reflects the idiosyncrasies of Marks’s collection and organisational style. We have received significant support from the Volkswagen Foundation and also from Stellenbosch University. After its donation we continued to collect related material and the collection has grown with the addition of the Shifty Record Collection, the Darius and Catherine Brubeck Collection, the Roger Lucey Collection, the Jeremy Taylor Collection, the Keith Blundell Collection and others.

The Hidden Years Music Archive documents alternative South African and southern African music and musicians from the late 1960s to the early 2000s. It holds the live recordings, photographs, documents, letters and posters of a group of musicians who were active in the South African music scene during this time. With the addition of the Shifty Music collection, this archive represents a significant proportion of the independent and alternative music scene in South Africa.

The archive was cleaned, sorted, and archived by a dedicated team of archivists, researchers and students. The physical archive is located at Stellenbosch University and the digital content is hosted on SUNDigital, the digital repository of Stellenbosch University

This website is a curated site through which to explore some of the hidden gems of South African music.  

Lizabé Lambrechts is an archivist and researcher. She has worked on the Hidden Years Music Archive since 2013. As Project Leader she raised funding, trained students and managed all the archival work and digitisation projects. In 2015 she established an internship programme for postgraduate students to work on HYMAP. While she is now running an NPO called Nuuseum, she remains dedicated to this archive and will continue the work to make this material available and accessible.

Pakama Ncume works as a Special Collection Librarian in the Stellenbosch University Library and Information Services. For the past five years, she has worked as a Sound Archivist at Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation, Stellenbosch University. Her main responsibility was digitising the Hidden Years Music Archive sound material.

David Marks works as a musician, songwriter and historical sleuth. Through his work as a sound engineer and the director of the 3rd Ear Music Company, Marks amassed a collection of material that documents South African music from the mid 1960s to the early 2000s. In 1990 Marks formed the Hidden Years Music Archive Project to safeguard and preserve the material he collected. The collection has been estimated to contain around 175 000 items, amounting to seven tons of material that documents diverse musical styles ranging from urban folk to township jazz, country rock, choirs, maskanda and traditional musics.

Ashrudeen Waggie is currently enrolled in the Graduate Programme at Stellenbosch University working towards his Doctorate degree in History and Music. He was part of the first internship programme in 2017 and remains committed to creating metadata and uploading content to the HYMAP digital archive.

Nicole van der Merwe has been an integral part of the HYMAP internship programme since 2018. She completed her Masters degree at Stellenbosch University in 2020. She has been an important facet to cataloguing the vinyl collection of HYMAP.


Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University was founded in 2016 by Prof Stephanus Muller (Director). The institute developed from the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS), to which it remains connected through its funding of the DOMUS archive, its intellectual and creative programmes, curating activities, archival collection initiatives and core vision of creating the largest open-access archive for music on the African continent. The intellectual and creative programmes of AOI focus on music, research and innovation, which includes music research, research innovation and innovative approaches to musicking. The institute provides an institutional home to postgraduate students, postdoctoral and research fellows, associated composers, performers and academics; it especially sets out to make institutional space for important musical voices outside academe. AOI is particularly interested in creating a space where advanced students can do experimental work that crosses boundaries between music research, composition and performance, but also between these music-centred activities and other disciplines like history, or geography, or literature or complexity studies.

The Genadendal Music Archive (GMA), initiated by Jürgen May. Together with May, we conceptualised and built this website and archive platform. For more information, please visit.

The Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) is located in the Music Library, Stellenbosch University. DOMUS houses close to 70 collections of South African composers, performers, researchers and music societies.

We would like to thank our main sponsors the Volkswagen Foundation and the Mellon Foundation for making this work possible. project partners Janet Topp Fargion at the British Library and Archive, Angela Impey at the School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Stephanus Muller at the Africa Open Institute, Stellenbosch University.

Thank you to our colleagues, students, interns, volunteers, and community members who have been involved in helping us protect this valuable collection. 

Frances Marks; Arlo, Rose-Lee and Alesha Marks; Kenneth, Bernard, Arthur Segal; Anke Froelich; Alesha Bredell; Boitumelo Tlhoaele; Izaack Julies; Candice Steytler; Ginger Verlein Seip; Cathy and John Rolt; Noleen and Paul Johnson; Christopher Ballantine; Oladele Ayorinde; Marc Rontsch; Claudia Janse van Rensburg; Chris Stewart and Lionel Wentzel; Charlie Shoemaker; Michael Batch; Hilde Roos; Esther-Marie Pauw; William Fourie; Michael; Susan Trent; Sonette le Roux, Esmeralda Tarentaal; Christa Winckler; Santie de Jongh; Beulah Gericke.

Contact Us

Hidden Years Music Archive: Lizabé Lambrechts

To contact the Africa Open Institute: Stephanus Muller | Director | Tel: +27 (0)21 808 2350 | AOI

To contact the Documentation Centre for Music: Santie de Jongh | Special Collections Librarian | Tel:  +27 (0)21 808 2579