mirage

Contree: 1981 No 09

Boloka/Manakin Repository

Contree: 1981 No 09

 

Contents

No. 9, January 1981

Articles


Book reviews

Editorial

Serious historical research depends largely on primary sources for a reliable link with the past, and in so far as these are central and local government records they are officially safeguarded and kept in the archives depots in the capitals of the four provinces. Regional history is just as dependent on primary sources but many of these, of prime importance to the regional historian, are not protected to the same extent as public records. A group of primary sources without which the regional historian can hardly operate is that of local government records, e.g. of city councils, municipalities, and health committees. They fall under the Archives Act (No.6 of 1962) but in practice often suffer damage owing to the neglect and ignorance that negate the purpose of the Act. There is every indication, however, that the archives authorities are winning the struggle and that local authorities are accepting the responsibility for their records by safeguarding them and transferring them to archives depots as prescribed. Nevertheless concern is felt about unofficial archives, wit~out which it would be very difficult to reconstruct the socio-cultural and economic history of a region. The records of farmers' associations, local sports and cultural organisations, and businesses are generally not only inaccessible because of the manner in which they have been stored over decades, but are often just lost. This state of affairs can be improved only if the parties involved are educated to the importance of safeguarding such records, and only then it will be possible to go ahead and consider a repository for them: Although the staff of the state archives cannot accept responsibility for unofficial records, having neither the manpower nor the storage capacity, it is very necessary to have their guidance and information. So it is most fortunate that the Archives Act leaves room for the Director of Archives to advise those charged with the custody of records t~ which the provisions of the Archives Act do not apply.

Redaksioneel

Ernstige historiese navorsing is in hoë mate afhanklik van primêre bronne wat dien as betroubare skakels met die verlede. Vir sover hierdie bronne sentrale of plaaslike owerheidsargiewe is, geniet dit amptelike beskerming en word in argiefbewaarplekke in die hoofstede van die vier provinsies van die RSA bewaar. Streekhistoriese navorsing is eweneens op primêre bronne aangewys; tog geniet baie bronne wat vir die streekhistorikus van betekenis is, nie dieselfde beskerming as owerheidsargiewe nie. 'n Groep primêre bronne wat vir die streekhistorikus feitlik onontbeerlik in sy navorsing is, is die argiewe van plaaslike owerhede: stadsrade, munisipaliteite en gesondheidskomitees. Hierdie argiewe ressorteer wel onder die Argiefwet (no. 6 van 1962), maar in die praktyk ly dit dikwels skade as gevolg van verwaarlosing en onkunde wat die bedoelings van die Wet verydel. Alles dui egter daarop dat die argiefowerhede besig is om die stryd te wen en dat plaaslike owerhede in toenemende mate hul verantwoordelikheid ten opsigte van hulle argiewe besef en nakom deur dit beter te versorg en volgens voorskrif na die argiefbewaarplekke oor te plaas. Die toedrag van sake ten opsigte van nieamptelike argiewe waarsonder dit haas onmoontlik is om die sosiokulturele en ekonomiese geskiedenis van 'n streek te rekonstrueer, gee heelwat rede tot kommer. Die rekords van boereverenigings, plaaslike sport- en kultuurorganisasies en sakeondernemings is meestal nie net ontoeganklik vir die navorser as gevolg van die wyse waarop dit oor dekades heen 'geberg' is nie, maar raak dikwels sommer net verlore. Hierdie toestand kan slegs verhelp word as 'n groter bewussyn gekweek word by belanghebbendes oor die noodsaaklikheid om sodanige rekords te bewaar. As dit eers bereik is, kan besin word oor 'n bewaarplek vir hierdie rekords. Hoewel die staat se argiefdiens nie oor die bemanning en die bergruimte beskik om ook vir nie-amptelike argiewe verantwoordelikheid te aanvaar nie, is leiding en voorligting van die kant van die argiefowerheid uiters nodig. Gelukkig word in die Argiefwet daarvoor voorsiening gemaak dat die Direkteur van Argiewe diegene van advies kan dien wat verantwoordelik is vir die bewaring van argiewe waarop die bepaling van die Argiefwet nie van toepassing is nie.

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