South Africa, Archives and the African National Congress

Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg

My visit to South Africa on assignment for Global Affairs/UNESCO and Archives & Special Collections began in the first week of June in Johannesburg during an unusually cold winter (for South Africa).  The purpose of the trip was to explore and convene on the archival landscape which had been mapped in 2000 through a partnership between the African National Congress (ANC) and the University of Connecticut.  The initial archives project was funded by the Mellon Foundation to organize, describe and make accessible the ANC archives documenting its activities while in exile under Apartheid.  These archives, located at the National Heritage and Cultural Studies Center (NAHECS) University of Fort Hare (UFH) in Alice, Eastern Cape, have been available in their reading room for public research since 2005.  Between 2000 and 2005, UConn sent faculty, archivists, librarians and oral historians to UFH to hold training sessions and benefit from this skill sharing partnership.  In conjunction, UFH sent archivists and librarians to receive training within the UConn libraries. Continue reading

Society of American Archivists and the Belfast Project


The Society of American Archivists held a virtual chat today over the internet on the impact of the Boston College tapes documenting “The Troubles” between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, known as the Belfast Project.  Since the court ruling to allow the British government to subpoena 11 oral histories of paramilitary members, archives have had to re-examine the vulnerability of protected documentation in light of newly legislated states’ rights.

For a collection of related information and analysis on the tapes and the archival implications, follow the link.