Celebrating South African Records Collection and Preservation
The National Department of Arts and Culture launched the seventh annual National Archives Week at the National Film, Video and Sound Archives building in Pretoria under the theme “Archives for Democracy, Accountability and Transparency”. The event runs from 5 to 9 May 2014. All nine provinces will have a programme of activities that celebrate Archives Week.
This year’s programme focuses on the significance and role of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa in terms of collecting and preservation of information as part of the public record. Visitors will also be exposed to South Africa’s textual and audio-visual legacy. As part of our 20 years of freedom and democracy celebrations, records turning 20 years this year, such as those of the late former, President Tata Nelson Mandela’s first days in office should be transferred to the National Archives this year. This year will also see the listing of the CODESA Multi-Party Negotiating Forum Records in the International Memory of the World Register.
Speaking to delegates and learners at the launch, the Acting National Archivist, Ms Mandy Gilder said, “The Acting National Archives and Records Service seeks to preserve the memory of the history of the nation. These records therefore help us to understand who we are and where we come from. By providing us with information about our past, we are better able to understand the present. She further encouraged researchers, organisations and individuals to use the information as it is readily available to them.”
Learners across South Africa will get the chance to visit the provincial archives. The daily programme includes guided tours, different presentations on the functions and services offered within archiving record preservation and also information on career paths available within the profession.
Indeed, archives provide a basis for a deeper understanding of the past that is important in South Africa to inform the development of a new democratic society. A public archives such as the National Archives and Records Service is therefore a special resource for dealing with the social memory of our nation and with protecting people's rights in our country. It is also a treasure house of national memory with resources that are accessible to all.
The public will be treated to a special half an hour film screening on Chief Albert Luthuli on Friday, 9 May 2014, 18:00 at the National Film, Video and Sound Archives building in Pretoria. For more information on the film screening details, contact Khanyi Ngcobo on 082 941 4601.