Heritage Goes Digital 2012
South Africa commemorates National Heritage Day on 24 September 2012 in celebration of our countries rich and diverse cultural heritage. The month of September come to be known as 'Heritage Month' and is a time during which heritage and cultural institutions in South Africa host a number of programmes and projects to celebrate South Africa's heritage.
Importance of Heritage Day
It is important for all South Africans to celebrate their own unique culture and heritage against the background of our unique diversity. In so doing we build pride in ourselves and our nation; we remember the difficulties of the past; we share in the victories of the present and foster hope for the future.
Our focus for 2012 and events planned for Heritage Month
In 2012, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is Making Heritage Relevant in the Digital Age. In this regard it is running a number of projects and programmes to bring our heritage to life in a modern, digital South Africa; making it accessible to new and wider audiences and specifically focussing on relevance to youth and other users of modern, digital technology. Amongst these are:
- A programme to digitise museum collections throughout the province in order to create greater accessibility to artefacts and related information through online media.
- Participation of Heritage Western in an initiative of the South African Heritage Resources Agency to create a digital database of heritage sites which will be on the Internet and easily accessible as a source of information for tourists, researchers and applicants for heritage permits and consents.
- Creation of a database of information on geographical names throughout the province.
- Creation of online museum exhibitions, commencing with a project on sites and events associated with the Liberation Struggle.
During September 2012 the following projects are highlighted:
- The 29 museums in the provincial museums system are launching information sites on WikiPedia as part of the WikiAfrica Project which seeks to increase the African footprint on the Internet and Wikipedia in particular.
- Heritage Western Cape, an agency of the Department, is the proud partners of the 'Wiki Loves Monuments' project in which the public is encouraged to upload photos of monuments and heritage sites across 30 countries. It is the first time this project has run in South Africa and there are great prizes to be won. Upload your photo's at any time during September and participate in the photo marathon on Heritage Day. See www.wikilovesmonuments.co.za. Accessible is available in a variety of South Africa's official languages and those without Internet access may upload photo's free of charge at any of our museums during museum working hours and on Heritage Day. Look for the Wiki Loves Monuments poster at your local museum.
- Affiliated Museums are busy digitising their collections to make it accessible for the public and especially the youth of today.
- The Sport and Recreation Chief Directorate has in conjunction with the Mayibuye centre funded a project to digitise sporting heritage from the Robben Island Prison and will host an event around this project on 20 September.
For information on the various events, programmes and projects hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport please contact the office of the Director for Museums and Heritage:
Tel: 021 483 9598