AI impact considered as Archives Awareness Week 2023 is launched | Western Cape Government



AI impact considered as Archives Awareness Week 2023 is launched

2 June 2023

The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport launched the 2023 Archives Awareness Week on Friday, 2 June 2023. The launch was hosted by the Western Cape Archives and Records Service at the Archives building in Roeland Street, Cape Town. The theme for the week this year is: Leave no one behind: Archives in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Guests were welcomed by Chief Director of Cultural Affairs, Carol van Wyk, who spoke about the impact that artificial intelligence has on the archives service: “The theme this year reflects the growing recognition of artificial intelligence as a technological tool to advance access to archives. AI also has the ability to provide valuable opportunities for identifying overlooked records as well as ensuring equal access to archival material.”

She invited all residents of the Western Cape to actively participate and engage in Archives Awareness Week, and explore what the service has to offer: “We are committed to providing a platform to explore our past, while also documenting and celebrating our present” she said.

Head of Department, Guy Redman, commended the Archives Service team for their excellent service delivery, celebrated the delivery of two new scanners to the Archives Service, that will assist in continuing the process of digitising records that are used  in order to preserve and provide access to them. “Leave no one behind becomes very important as a theme this year. We have been through a difficult time, facing unemployment and a of lack of education, with some of those being most affected being young people. This Archives Week will specifically be aimed towards making sure that the youth begin to appreciate the value of Archives. Archives has the knowledge that help people shape their identities.” said Mr Redman.

Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais said the week is dedicated to promoting the collections and functions of archives with events to celebrate our archival history across the country. “One of the key objectives of the week is to educate the youth about the importance of records and archives for research purposes and as well as for career choices, which is especially focused on our youth” said the Minister.

The week will see various workshops taking place next week, including an Online Oral History Workshop on Monday 5 June, hosted by KZN Archives from 10:00–11:30, and a Family History Workshop hosted at the Archives building on Tuesday 6 June.

Media Enquiries: 

Tania Colyn
Acting Spokesperson to Minister Anroux Marais
Tel: 076 093 4913