National Archives Week 2016 | Western Cape Government

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National Archives Week 2016

We will celebrate National Archives Week from 9 - 13 May 2016 at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service in Roeland Street, Cape Town. The theme for this year is ‘Archives for the promotion of human rights, transparency and good governance’.

National Archives Week offers an opportunity to the public to learn about the importance of preserving our documented history in order to understand and appreciated its impact on our daily lives.

During this week activities will run every day between 09:00-15:00 at 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town and will include guided tours of the historic building, presentations and exhibitions.  

You can arrange group visits with Thando Bukwana by emailing him at or by calling him on 021 483 0422.

A free workshop on researching family history will take place on 10 May from 09:00-12:00 at 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town. Make sure you book your place in this exciting workshop with Jaco van der Merwe by emailing him at or calling him on 021 483 0417.

Our Provincial archive services

Our Archives Service gives you the opportunity to view historical documents. Whether you need to know more about your family history or access documents for research, our archives is the place to go.

The Archives is home to South Africa’s oldest documents. The earliest are records of Jan van Riebeeck’s journey to the Cape in 1651. Many other aspects of the Western Cape’s history are preserved there; for example, slavery records, wills and estate papers, early maps of the Cape, church records, photographs, immigration records, property and farm records, building plans and marriage records.

Records are available in various forms and classified as follows:

  • Printed paper
  • Written manuscripts
  • Maps and plans
  • Photographic images
  • Sound and electronic data

Jo-Anne Duggan, director of Archival Platform, believes that archives play an important role in our country. “They are responsible for ensuring the proper management of all records of government and for preserving these for future generations.” Jo-Anne said archives services in general can help us to come to terms with the past, understand the present or imagine our future.  

Filling the gaps in your family tree

Tracing your family history (genealogy) isn’t only an exciting opportunity to know more about the past, it can also help you access estate papers that are issued after death. These papers include wills and death notices. If you’re curious about the past, you can:

  • find out about your family and where you come from - slave descendants can also use the slavery era records to learn more,
  • gain useful information about your family’s medical history and causes of death, this can help you determine your risk of getting a disease,
  • use these records for research and academic purposes, and
  • determine the truth about land claims by using estate papers and wills.

“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.”

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’ll understand and appreciate its value in our daily lives and so that we can protect our heritage Better Together.

Follow #NationalArchivesWeek on Twitter @WCGovCas for more updates.


If you want to know more about National Archives Week, you can contact Constance Mthetho:


Tel: 021 483 0400 

 National Archives Week 2016_English poster 

National Archives Week 2016 - Afrikaans poster

National Archives Week 2016 - isiXhosa poster

The content on this page was last updated on 6 May 2016