29 May 2014


The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive committed to documenting and raising awareness of past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy in South Africa.

SAHA is looking for a dedicated, thorough, meticulous individual with a keen interest in the history of struggles for justice in South Africa to work with the archival team for a 6-month internship starting in July 2014.

Summary of key responsibilities

In the course of the internship, interns are expected to support the work of the archival team at SAHA through:

  • Accessioning, processing and maintaining physical and digital archival materials according to archival standards;
  • Updating and standardizing metadata relating to SAHA collections;
  • Assisting in the implementation of various special projects, including digitisation, publication development, and exhibition preparation, as required.

Special project opportunities: 

As part of their archival processing responsibilities interns could expect to work on one of the following projects: 

  • Assist with the processing of the Shifty Records archival collection and preparation of selected digital items for online access. SAHA has been involved in the Shifty Records Legacy Project for a number of years with the aim to preserve, partly through digitisation, the endangered music archives of Shifty Records. To complement the latter, SAHA has also acquired the record label’s collection of artists’ correspondence, lyric sheets, press releases, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Tasks will include: applying preservation measures to documents on item level (removal of staples and paperclips), applying preservation measures to photographs, labelling and boxing of folders of documents, creating metadata, and exhibition development.
  • Assist with the preservation and online access of the SAHA Poster collection (AL2446). A donation of posters from the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam last year added a further 1736 original posters to the already extensive collection of over 4000 struggle posters produced mainly from the 1970s onward. Tasks will include: encapsulation of master posters; reorganising master posters in the poster bins; sorting of the duplicate posters by call number to facilitate retrieval; updating metadata.


  • Qualification in information studies, history and / or heritage management (or a related qualification that you are able to motivate relates to the work of the archival programme at SAHA);
  • Demonstrable understanding of archival principles and practices;
  • Familiarity with database management and library / archive management systems.


  • Experience in processing archival collections;
  • Demonstrable interest in human rights advocacy and constitutional issues;
  • Interest in working in an NGO / civil society context.


  • Ability to plan, prioritize work, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Competency with Microsoft Office software
  • General fitness for lifting archive boxes and moving loaded carts

All SAHA internships are based at the SAHA offices at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Internships are on a full-time basis and interns will receive a modest stipend for the duration of the internship.

How to apply

To apply, please prepare a one-page letter of motivation (no more than 500 words) that addresses the following two questions:

  • What is the relationship between archives and human rights?
  • SAHA's central mission is to recapture lost and neglected histories and to record aspects of South African history in the making. Which SAHA project do you think fulfils this mission? Explain your answer.

Submit this letter of motivation with your CV (no longer than 2 pages) and the contact details for at least 2 professional referees by email to nonhlanhla@saha.org.za by 9 June 2014.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.