Why do we commemorate Human Rights Day on 21 March?
The Sharpeville Massacre was an important turning point for the South African Struggle Movement. It took place in Sharpeville, situated nearby Vereeniging in Gauteng (then-Transvaal). Organised by the Pan African Congress, with Robert Sobukwe at the helm, a crowd of thousands gathered at the Sharpeville Police Station on 21 March 1960 to protest the enforcement of Apartheid legislation restricting freedom of movement of black men and requiring them to carry pass books in so-called ‘white areas’ in South Africa.
Sharpeville Day became an important symbol for the struggle, and was commemorated by the banned political parties in exile as well as by the United Democratic Front, comprising a mass movement of groups seeking to end the Apartheid regime.
Staffer Judy Favish travelled to Eastern Europe to trace her father’s ancestry after he was rescued from anti-Semitic pogroms and sent to South Africa as an orphan in 1920. The story has been captured in a groundbreaking documentary film. Some archival sources for the film came from the Oranjia Cape Jewish Orphanage records held at Special Collections.
Special Collections has recently completed the arrangement and description of a large archival collection of papers donated by a former head of UCT’s Social Anthropology Department and Life Fellow of UCT, Pamela Reynolds.
Archie Mafeje was offered a post as anthropology lecturer at UCT. The offer was then rescinded as a result of government pressure. 1968 was a year marked by student protests across the globe. The "Mafeje Affair" was the spark that ignited student anger at UCT, resulting in South Africa's own "1968 moment".
“Never judge a book by its fore edge” – guest post by retired librarian Tanya Barben. Read more at Memory@UCT blog.
Introducing AtoM@UCT, the recently launched on-line gateway to the primary source collections held by UCT Libraries. AtoM stands for “AccesstoMemory”, an open source, web-based, standards compliant (ISAD-G, DACS, RAD, EAD/EAC, DC etc.) archival management system that is rapidly becoming the gold standard in open source archival description software.
UCT Libraries Special Collections has launched a valuable digital archive on the ‡Khomani San of the southern Kalahari, which is made up of much of the material gathered for their successful land claim in 1999. It includes irreplaceable audio material of the N|uu language, once thought lost.
We would like to remind our users to carry your UCT ID card with you at all times. All library patrons are required to carry their UCT ID cards as the Libraries' regulations might require you to present it. Please help us to ensure our Libraries are used in a responsible manner.
From January 2016, UCT Libraries has decided to go cashless, and the reasons are three-fold:
to reduce the costs of handling cash across all the libraries (money will be saved on cash collection fees, bank charges and staff resources); to reduce the infrastructure requirements for cash handling and storage and; to reduce the potential physical risk to staff and students.
The move to a cashless environment will make our financial operations more efficient and cost effective.
IFLA’s Rare Books and Special Collections Section has launched a new blog, Rare & Special, which hopes to act as a dynamic news resource for the international community of rare book, manuscript, archival and special collections. In the submission linked below the team review the IFLA pre-satellite conference coordinated by UCT Special Collections.
History not only tells us where we come from, it also contains valuable lessons. Thus, the process of preserving history through the archive is vitally important. Recognising this, UCT recently launched Humanitec, which saw the digitisation of more than 14 000 objects from the 14 archival collections housed at UCT Libraries. Here is a snapshot of what is available through Humanitec, and in some of these collections.