UWC celebrates National Archives Week
With an aim of maintaining the University’s institutional memory by collecting, preserving and making its records accessible, the University of the Western Cape celebrates National Archives week under the theme of human rights, transparency and good governance. Hosted at the UWC Library Auditorium, UWC’s commemoration of Archives Day took place on 9 May 2016 from 11h00 till 14h00.
The day was about raising awareness of the importance of archiving throughout the campus and ensuring that everyone knows about the rich history of the University of the Western Cape. Speaking at UWC Archives day, UWC Registrar Nita Lawton-Misra said her office is responsible for the institution’s recordkeeping and is a custodian of the University, tasked with ensuring good governance in this respect and the success of freedom of information.
“Without record keeping there can be no accountability. History cannot be erased, and we cannot begin life everyday on a clean canvas. History does play a role in enriching our lives and it sure does help strengthen our behaviour,” said the Registrar.
Jo-Anne Duggan, who is the Director of the Archival Platform at the University of Cape Town, also spoke about the role of Archives in the education system. Duggan spoke strongly about how people need to be held accountable, and the role of archives in holding them accountable, “Losing an archival document means you lose a lot. Why can’t we treat archival material like the treasures that they are? Most of our universities have no training for Archival staff”, she concluded.
Professor Harold Herman, former Education Dean at UWC was one of the speakers at the UWC-Archives day. He touched on his role and forty years of being at UWC, both as a student and Dean of the Education faculty at UWC. He said that he is grateful for the cooperation that he received from the UWC-Archives staff. Researcher and alumni Aubrey Springveld said Archives are valuable source of information that are of research quality, he also touched on how record keeping helped him trace his ancestors.The day ended with a walk about at the Archives unit. National Archives week commenced on 9 May and will conclude on 13 May 2016. The unit invites the entire UWC community for viewings at the Archives to experience the rich history of the institution.