The Archive: A Historical Perspective

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Wendy Cox , 08 May 2021
Wendy gave a beautifully structured presentation on the origin and development of archives.
The concepts related to the archive environment were set out, such as the definition, the task of the archivist as well as the role of the institution.
Main events in the origins of records beginning with the Sumerians, Ancient Egypt, the Greeks, Romans, the Middle Ages, the church up to and including the French Revolution were highlighted and some of the periods were illustrated with examples.
Timbuktu has been discussed briefly as an important reservoir of knowledge in Africa where archival documents have been preserved in various languages, in Arabic script.
The consequences of the destruction of documents during and after the French Revolution were touched upon as well as the role of Napoleon and the contribution of the Dutch to the preservation of documents of especially the VOC that are important to SA.
The fire at the University of Cape Town, and the silent fire of neglect were addressed. Wendy emphasized the importance of the project, FutureFit.
It was a wake-up call to all the members of the GGSA - be aware of what is going on and help to preserve.