Any know anything about antique books and ephemera??

I have happened upon what appears to be a very rare find… I have been researching online for hours - to try and find a value or a place I could sell/ donate these and the only collection - seemingly in the world so far… is in the Wellcome Library in London.

I have 5 heredity charts made by the Eugenics Society that date back to about 1930.
They are in pretty amazing condition and I guess scarily enough are remnants of apartheid education?

I would like to keep hold of them until I can find out more about their significance and worth so I don’t get fleeced/ conned/ robbed…

Does anyone know of any antique valuers or experts in this field in South Africa?


If the charts are from the South African chapter of the Eugenics Society, the Apartheid Museum might have an interest in showing them. This does not necessarily mean that you will need to sell them because museums often take exhibits on loan. They’ll also be able to give a fair and trustworthy valuation, both of their monetary and historical value.


Can you take some pictures and upload them I’d like to see them.

What sort of information is recorded on these charts? Does it outline a family tree?

They are actually educational charts showing the following:

  1. Fertilization , Cell division and Chromosome reduction
    2.Mendel’s First Law without Dominance
  2. Mendel’s First Law with Dominance
  3. Stationary Night Blindness
  4. Polydactylism

I haven’t got round to taking pictures yet but this is one of them currently in USA

It might be interesting to investigate what school syllabi contained in SA around 1930; I imagine that it would have been strongly influenced by British education. There was no wide-spread education of Black people yet. If it should be called “apartheid education” depends on your definition thereof. Apartheid was the policy of the National Party, which came to power in 1948. Lately there has been a tendency to deny all changes of government prior to 1994, when the ANC came to power, and refer to all SA governments prior to ANC rule as the apartheid era.

The first act that might have contained an element of eugenics was the Immorality Act of 1927. This act prohibited extramarital sex between White and Black persons. It remained legal for White persons to have sex with Coloured or Indian races outside marriage and a White person could still marry a Black person. It therefore seems unlikely that the driving force behind this act would have been eugenic; more likely it was some moralistic views on sexual behaviour.

One of the first acts of the National Party was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949. This act banned marriage between a “European” and a “non-European” and was unmistakably influenced by eugenics. In 1950 the Immorality Act was amended to include a prohibition of sex between White persons and Coloured or Indian persons. Both acts were repealed in 1985.

A far-right splinter group of 1969, the Herstigte Nasionale Party, contested elections under the slogan “Bly Blank my Volk”. They have never won a seat in parliament, but still exists.

In its broader meaning, eugenics also have application in agriculture and I would be careful not to assume that the charts are related to apartheid education. I recall learning about hereditary paterns in biology, but certainly not about human eugenics.