mirage

Contree: 1986 No 19

Boloka/Manakin Repository

Contree: 1986 No 19

 

Contents

No. 19, January 1986

Articles


Book reviews

Editorial

For the historian who undertakes research into local and regional history there occurs continual challenges and problems. Besides the more traditional historical sources which are usually kept in central and local government archives, libraries and museums, the local historian must also consult the so-called unofficial and rather unconventional documents. These include, for example, the records of agricultural and farmers' associations, sport and cultural organisations, and business undertakings which are/were active in a community. Unfortunately such documents are not only widely scattered and difficult to trace, but are also largely incomplete and damaged or have even been destroyed. To form a reasonable accurate picture of the wide variety of activities in a town or region, the researcher is thus often dependent upon personal information, oral tradition, reminiscences of residents and newspapers. The value of such sources of information can hardly be Qverestimated, even though the historian must be mindful of shortcomings in them.

In this issue of Contree, amongst others, attention is given to the nature and contents of a number of local and country town newspapers in the districts of the 19th century eastern Cape frontier region. The writer analyses the research value of these newspapers and indicates what function they can fulfil in a relatively isolated community. Another contribution dealing with the fate of two financial institutions in Graaff-Reinet during the great depression, confirms the value of a few old, almost forgotten, minutebooks for the researcher.

The above-mentioned and other articles will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the wide and divergent scope of human activities covered by local and regional history.

Redaksioneel

Vir die historikus wat navorsing in verband met plaaslike en streekgeskiedenis doen, duik voortdurend uitdagings en probleme op; want afgesien van die tradisionele historiese bronne wat gewoonlik in sentrale en plaaslike owerheidsargiewe, biblioteke en museums bewaar word, moet hy ook sogenaamde nie-amptelike, onkonvensionele dokumente raadpleeg. Dit sluit byvoorbeeld in rekords van landbou- en boereverenigings, sport- en kultuurliggame en sakeondernemings wat in 'n gemeenskap aktief is of was. Ongelukkig is sodanige dokumente nie net verspreid en moeilik om op te spoor nie, maar meestal ook onvolledig, beskadig en selfs vernietig. Om 'n redelike noukeurige beeld van die ryk geskakeerde aktiwiteite in 'n dorp of streek te probeer vorm, is die navorser dus dikwels op persoonlike mededelinge, mondelinge oorlewering of herinneringe van ingesetenes en nuusblaaie aangewese. Hierdie inligtingsbronne se waarde kan moeilik oorskat word, ofskoon die historikus tog ook op gebreke daarin bedag moet wees.

In hierdie uitgawe van Contree word onder meet juis gelet op die aard en inhoud van veral enkele plaaslike of gewestelike nuusblaaie in buitedistrikte van die 19de-eeuse Kaapse oosgrensgebied. Die skrywer ontleed die navorsingswaarde daarvan en toon voorts aan watter funksie die nuusblaaie in 'n betreklik geïsoleerde samelewing kan vervul. In 'n ander bydrae wat handel oor die lot van twee Graaff-Reinetse finansiële instellings gedurende die depressiejare word die nut van 'n klompie ou, feitlik vergete notuleboeke vir die navorser weer bevestig.

Genoemde en ander artikels sal hopelik hydra tot 'n ruimer begrip van die wye en uiteenlopende terrein van menslike aktiwiteite wat die plaaslike en streekgeskiedskrywing bestryk.

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