30 November 2009

New SAHA collection: Sunday Times Heritage Project (AL3282)

The Sunday Times celebrated its centenary in 2006. To mark this occasion the Sunday Times committed itself to uncover South Africa's rich heritage resources by tapping into those resources to create a number of remarkable products by way of several projects, which collectively became known as the Sunday Times Heritage Project (STHP).

The Sunday Times Heritage Project (STHP) Collection (AL3282) documents the processes involved in the many events and projects which ultimately constitute the Sunday Times Heritage Project. The size of the collection (30 archival boxes) is testimony to the enormous task involved in managing this project.

The classification of the collection gives a clear indication of the many paths this project has followed and to what extent it developed. SAHA has been instrumental in many of these developments, and it is only fitting that SAHA has now become the custodian of the records created during the course of the Project.

The premise for the STHP, Sunday Times editor Mondi Makhanya explained, was "to celebrate, commemorate and mark key figures, events and moments that had shaped the Sunday Times Century"... . "This is what our Heritage Project is about: the lived experience of South Africans". It included:- Enoch Mgijima and the Bulhoek massacre, Athol Fugard, Nontetha Nonkwenkwe, Raymond Mhlaba, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the TRC, Happyboy Mgxaji, George Pemba, the Eastern Cape beach invasion, Mohandas Gandhi, Duma Nokwe, Tsietsi Mashinini, Brenda Fassie, Bethuel Mokgosinyana, and the Orlando Pirates, Lilian Ngoyi, John Vorster Square and death in detention, Raymond dart, racial classification, Cissie Cool, Isaac Wauchope and the sinking of the SS Mendi, Ingrid Jonker, Mannenberg, the Purple march, Olive Schreiner, Basil D'Oliveira, the first trans Africa flight, Alan Paton, Albert Luthuli, Bessie Head, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Which started as a project for the creation and installation of 40 site-specific memorials to commemorate these key figures, events and moments, further lead to the production and broadcast of a series of radio documentaries, broadcast on SAFM and packaged as a CD entitled 'Voices from our past', as well as the publication of ‘Great Lives: Pivotal Moments' - all inspired by the wealth of histories unveiled by the researchers.

Many of these projects were done in collaboration with SAHA. Together they have been successful in making archives more accessible to the people through modern technologym through the development of an interactive DVD ‘Between Life and Death - Stories from John Vorster Square' and the STHP website that was set up during the course of the project. Another joint project, an oral history and memorial project with 8 schools located in 4 South African towns, resulted in the publication of ‘Meeting history face-to-face: a guide to doing oral history' with an accompanying DVD.

View the collection