Archive for the ‘Research and learning’ Category

Anti-apartheid and southern Africa solidarity collection at the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In 2008 the IISH acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands. It concerns the archives and related library and documentary collections of the three former anti-apartheid groups which merged into the Netherlands institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) in 1997. The collected archives consist of documents from organisations such as the South Africa Committee (from the 1960s), the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Angola Committee/Holland Committee on Southern Africa, the Eduardo Mondlane Foundation, Institute for Southern Africa and Broadcasting for Radio Freedom.

Since then the archivist of the collection, Kier Schuringa, processed all the audio-visual materials of the former anti-apartheid groups in the IISH collection, including some 13,500 photographs and over 500 slides, 1100 posters, 300 buttons 800 video-tapes, exhibition materials, t-shirts, audio cassettes, etc, Also, the archives of the South Africa Committee and the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement have been processed, including the production of full inventories. Currently, the Archives of the Angola Committee/Holland Committee on Southern Africa are being processed.

The results if this work, including many scans of the visual materials, can be seen on the IISH website. A useful introduction to the collection can be found here and which also features a background section, including links and a webdossier on the history of the anti-apartheid solidarity movement in The Netherlands (also in English).

Contributed by Kier Schuringa

The Nordic Documentation Project on the Liberation Struggles in southern Africa hosted the concluding workshop in Pretoria last week.  This project, financed by the Swedish Government, began in 2003 with the objective of documenting the past to inform the future. The outcome of the Project is a database containing archival lists and a website with short interviews and fulltext documents. The object of the workshop was to explore ways of collaboration to make research in this area more visible, to identify official and alternative archives and explore research topics in order to build new knowledge.

The Project website is available here

A wide selection of academics, researchers and archivists were invited to contribute a think piece to present at the workshop. Pat Liebetrau, Manager of DISA, was invited to present on the challenges of Digital Preservation of liberation struggles material.

The presentation is available here

The workshop stimulated much debate with a fair amount of passion and enthusiasm. The need for co-ordination of the resources “out there” and improved access to research and project outcomes was agreed as a priority. However, this was not coupled with concrete proposals to ensure sustainable and ongoing implementation.

Several exciting research topics were identified and the interdisciplinary nature of new research was emphasised. NAI as a research based organisation may be able to offer funding to support some of this research. Increased research co-operation between individuals (north and south) and between institutions was also on the wish list. Many digitisation projects are producing content but very little work is being funded to ensure that the sum of these projects is made available in a cohesive and context rich environment to support new research and new knowledge.

An interesting blog posted 2 days ago on the DurSpace Blog, concerning cloud computing perils and opportunities, with particular relevance to the higher education sector.

Read the whole blog here