National Archives Week Kicks off Exploring Our Living Past
The Western Cape Provincial Archive Service of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport launched National Archives Week at the Archives Building, 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town on Friday, 8 May 2015. The theme of this year’s National Archives Week from 11–15 May is Our Living Past.
The keynote address was delivered by family researcher Aubrey Springfield. The audience was in awe as he described his personal journey of researching his family history with the help the Provincial Archives. “It was always important to me to find out what my identity was and every time I found something, it moved me” said Springfield.
On Tuesday 12 May a public workshop on researching family history will be facilitated by senior archivist Jaco van der Merwe at the Archives from 9:00 – 12:00. Attendance is free of charge and booking is essential – email Jaco.VanderMerwe@westerncape.gov.za or tel: 021 483 0417 to secure your place.
“Family history has become an important research topic in the last decade,” said Van der Merwe. “We get people from various communities and different social standing who are interested in their roots and family history and our reading room has staff who can help people with their research.”
Workshop participants will be shown how to use the various resources available for historical research effectively. They will also look at various records which refer to their ancestors, for example, education, military service, medical records, where they stayed and the churches they may have attended.
“Knowing who you are and where you come from plays a role in self-knowledge and respect for others,” said Director of Archive Services at DCAS, Nikiwe Momoti. “Genealogy helps us to know our heritage to understand who we are.”
Part of the National Archives Week will be the regional outreach programmes, which are scheduled for:
- 12 May at the Mimosa Library, Meyer Street, Rutdene, Beaufort West;
- 13 May at the George Main Library, corner of York and Caledon Street, George;
- 14 May at the Bartolomeu Dias Museum, 1 Market Street, Mossel Bay; and
- 15 May at Victoria Hall, Caledon.
The Provincial Archives Service helps to connect people to their communities and family histories. By using the opportunity to learn about the importance of preserving our documented history, we will understand and appreciate its impact on our daily lives and become BETTER TOGETHER.