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9 June 2017
International Archives Day 2017

International Archives Day 2017: Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism at UWC

Celebrating International Archives Day, the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Documents, Records and Archive Management Services hosted a three-hour event on Friday, 9 June 2017.

International Archives Day provides an opportunity for archivists and records managers to raise awareness among decision makers of the advantage of good archiving for establishing sound governance, and make known the important role that archival departments and units play in institutions and businesses.

This year's theme was Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism, with guest speaker Mr Edgar De Kocker, Deputy Registrar for Secretariat and Policy Administration at UWC, observing that archives fulfill an essential role in societies and institutions.

“Archives are the memory of nations and societies which provide foundations for our identities, and are a key element of the information society,” he said, noting that at UWC, the archives do a particular good job of keeping history available.

“I am always amazed at how quickly DRAMS at the University will provide you with an old document and information in a matter of minutes,” De Koker noted.

UWC's history has been a long and winding road, from a “Bush college” offering limited training for Coloured people, to a home of the anti-apartheid left, to becoming a cornerstone of post-1994 South Africa and one of Africa's leading higher education institutions.

Much of that history was on view on International Archives Day, with paintings and documents for staff and students to view, followed by a tour of the Mayibuye Archives and the UWC Archives, and later a tour of the special collections division at the library.

“It’s going to be interesting to take a walk to where the country and institution comes from, because our University has a long and interesting history, and played a key role during liberation struggle and the building of a new South Africa,” said DRAMS Manager Zizi Mlonyeni.