Archives and Human Rights Documentation

Archives in South Africa

Archives at the Crossroads 2007

Report on two-day conference, organised in 2007 by Nelson Mandela Foundation and the University of the Witwatersrand, with the support of the Minister of Arts and Culture, to assess the state of the national archival system and the vitality of the broader archival sector.

View the Archives at the Crossroads 2007 PDF (1.39MB)

The Archival Platform

Site aimed at supporting the ongoing development of archives and heritage in South Africa. Site includes lists of links to South African archives, heritage organisations and museums, as well as information on archival publications and projects.

Visit The Archival Platform

National Archives of South Africa

Website of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa. This body was established by promulgation of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No 43 of 1996 as amended).

National Archives of South Africa


Relevant South African Legislation

National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (ACT NO. 43 OF 1996)

This Act provides for: a National Archives and Record Service; the proper management and care of the records of government bodies; the preservation and use of a national archival heritage; and to provide for related matters.

Download a copy of the act

International archives with South African Collections

Nelson Mandela Foundation > Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives

Online guide to anti-apartheid movements archives documenting international solidarity in the struggles against apartheid, compiled by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Visit the Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives online guide

Anti-apartheid and Southern Africa Collection Guide

In 2008 the International Institute of Social History (IISH) acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands.

Learn more about the guide and the work of IISH

Human Rights Archives and Documentation

Documenting Truth

Publication on human rights documentation developed by the International Center for Transitional Justice's Documentation Affinity Group. Free to download.

Learn more about the Documenting Truth publication

Human Rights Archives and Documentation Program

Initiative of the Center for Research Libraries concerned with the 'the effective collecting, safekeeping, and appropriate accessibility of archives and documentation regarding violations of human rights and the prevention and prosecution of those abuses in all world regions.'

Visit the Human Rights Archives and Documentation Program website

Human Rights Library and Archival Research blog

Blog showcasing resources for human rights research at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Visit the blog

ICA Working Group - Archives and Human Rights

Virtual space created by the International Council of Archives for professionals working in the field of human right archiving and documentation to share information, resources and experiences.

Visit the ICA Working Group website

The Margarita S. Studemeister Digital Collections in International Conflict Management

Digital library of collections of peace agreements and truth commissions materials from the United States Institute of Peace.

Visit the website for these collections

Spotlight: the role of archives in human rights (October 2009)

Excellent annotated list of links to resources, tools, videos, and information on both human rights on archives and archiving, posted  on the WITNESS blog, The Hub, in October 2009.

Read the posting

WITNESS Media Archive

Archival arm of WITNESS, aimed at collecting, documenting, preserving and providing access to audiovisual human rights media in the support of advocacy, prosecution of justice, truthtelling, and the historical record.

Visit the WITNESS Media Archive website

Related publications
TRC Archival Audit Report
Report on South African archives holding TRC materials
Memory, Heritage and the Public Interest
Report on conference about refiguring, utilising and improving access to archives in South Africa.