A River Runs Through It … and other books

The Kowie Museum, a repository of fascinating artefacts on various aspects of local history, also sports a small but excellent collection of books.

Some cover subjects of general interest: fish, seaweeds and shells found in Southern Africa, shipwrecks along our coastline, history and exploration in the Cape of Good Hope and the Eastern Cape, flora and fauna specific to this area, and the art and culture of the Xhosa people.

There are naturally many books on the 1820 Settlers, the history of the Lower Albany district, churches and missions. Family histories form an important part of the collection, as do books of old photographs, particularly of Grahamstown and Port Alfred.

One of the most interesting books of photographs is “A river runs through it” by Dr MC Erasmus. This is a significant selection of black and white historical (and some modern) photographs of Port Alfred, Lower Albany and some of the forts and outposts of the Eastern Cape. Originally a limited edition of only 100 copies, several additional copies were found recently, and these have been snapped up by local collectors. Only one of these remains for sale at the Museum, but it is hoped that we may be given permission to reprint this very popular book.