Archives honoured for helping preserve history
The Western Cape Archives and Records Service (WCARS) has been recognised for not only helping to preserve the history of South Africa but also making it accessible to members of the public.
WCARS, the oldest archives in the country, has collected, managed and preserved records since it was founded in 1876. These records can be accessed by anyone, but they have found that historians and students conducting research are the most regular users.
On Thursday 8 November 2018 the VOC Foundation awarded WCARS with a silver medal for its continued good work. The Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, was on hand to accept the medal.
“This building was for many years the Roeland Street Prison and that’s why it has such thick walls and doors. We still protect our documents with this same level of security today.” Minister Marais said. “My department and I are proud to be honoured in this way, and for that we thank you. We will continue to uphold these standards.”
The oldest records stored in the archives date back to 1651, when the first Dutch colonial settlement was founded in South Africa. Many of these documents relate to the VOC or Vereenigde Landsche Ge-Oktroyeerde Oostindische Compagnie.
The VOC Foundation works to manage, maintain and foster interest in the historic sites and artefacts relating to the company, which can be found all around the Western Cape.
The WCARS connects people to history. Through learning about the importance of preserving our documented history, we may understand and appreciate each other BETTER TOGETHER.