The annual Archives week was launched on Monday, 7 May, at the Free State Provincial Archives in Bloemfontein under the theme “Archives: Our Lives, Our Legacy: Workers’ Rights”.
The aim of the event is to popularise the profession and get to engage communities around the importance of archives in the preservation of societal memory.
The week promotes the importance of good record keeping practices and allows members of the public access to archival buildings for them to witness archival functions and services.
“Just as your brain, your filing cabinet or your smart phone stores your memories, archives store and make available the memories of the society you live in,” Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu, said.
She added that archivists are increasingly stepping onto virgin territory, the focus is no longer on the preservation of paper records as it has been for hundreds of years.
“As little as 20 years ago an archivist’s job was fairly straightforward and focused on the science of managing, preserving and disseminating its records.”
The celebration of the Annual National Archives Week is intended to promote the use of archives and the profession in general. Individuals become exposed to how research is conducted in archives.
“I hope you will get to know the archives better as you will share behind the scenes insights into what archives do, how they do it, and how you can use these unique resources,” Sotyu concluded.
The Annual Archives Awareness Week is a nationwide project that is celebrated by national and provincial archives.