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Literature in African Languages: Books

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Yes we do have fiction in the library!

The UKZN libraries collect a wide range of fiction as part of the literature collections. Most popular fiction may only be accessible from your local public library. The guides above indicates the numbers on the shelves at which you can find fiction.

Collections in English language fiction are strong along with Zulu language fiction.


Print books


Books may be borrowed for particular time periods depending on your year of study. They are arranged on the shelves according to subject matter, using the Dewey Decimal Classification numbering system. The online library catalogue will help you find the books you need.

Some basic numbers for finding literature texts and commentaries are given below (Note that numbers may vary per campus library): Consult the catalogue for a fuller listing.

                                                                 Poetry         Drama       Fiction        Other

African literatures are found at          896          

Xhosa literature:                                  896.3985..       

Zulu literature:                                     896.3986...   896.39862    896.39863                   

All libraries stock a range of print language dictionaries which are usually kept in the reference collection of the library (at the same numbers as above). In the Pietermaritzburg main library, the language dictionaries are kept on the ground floor in the Reference collection.

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Key reference works for Literary Studies


Reference books

These are books that are not loanable and may only be used in the library, for example, encyclopaedias and dictionaries. They are identified by the letter 'R' preceding the Dewey number on the spine.

Language dictionaries can be found in the reference sections of each library at the 400's numbers.

The books listed below are available at the E.G. Malherbe Library (Dbn) and the Cecil Renaud Library (Pmb)

Some examples of literary dictionaries and encyclopedias are:

Encyclopedia of African literature

                Shelf number: Dbn: R 809.896 ENC; Pmb: R 809.8896 GIK


Scholar's Zulu dictionary : English-Zulu, Zulu-EnglishEdit/Delete

                Shelf number: Dbn & Pmb: R 496.3986 DEN


Academic Reserves

Prescribed and recommended books in high demand are placed here. A two hour loan period is available during the day in order to provide access by as many people as possible. Material may not be removed from the library

 Be warned! Late material is subject to heavy fines!

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