8 May 2013

South Africa: Minister Meyer Launches National Archives Week

press release

On Monday, 6 May 2013, the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer launched National Archives Week at the Western Cape Provincial Archives in Cape Town.

The 2013 theme is "Archives - Looking into the Past". Through a series of activities, including guided tours, presentations, workshops and exhibitions, visitors will be introduced to the exciting world of archives. In addition, members of the Western Cape branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa will be on hand to assist people who would like to trace their family histories.

Dr Meyer said that archives connect people, places and cultures, and they connect the past with the future. "The archives provide context for the interplay between the past, present and future. At the Western Cape archives numerous scholars sift through the recorded past, texts and images, manuscripts and prints with the sole purpose of describing history. In fact during 2011/12, a total of 8 790 researchers consulted 48 309 records", said Dr Meyer.

University of Cape Town academic and member of the Western Cape Archives Advisory Committee Dr Maanda Mulaudzi said the archives made it possible for him to conduct his research into customary law in the former bantustans. "Access to the archives has empowered me to reconstruct and elaborate on the past and relate this to the present", he said.

A special National Archives Week Programme will run daily from 08h30 to 15h00 from 4 to 10 May 2013. Ms Lunette Lourens can be contacted at 021 483 0400 for further information.

Issued by: Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport

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