01 August 2011

VHA launches geo-spatial online archive

The Visual History Archive (VHA) has developed a new user friendly online archive. The Visual History Explorer - www.visualhistoryexplorer.com is an interactive spatial and temporal platform that provides unprecedented access and context to archival material concerned with the history of apartheid and the liberation struggle in Southern Africa. VHA has been developing the platform for around six years, together with the South African History Archives (SAHA). It is an archival platform designed to offer user's access to archive that can be searchable.

The centralized suppository allows for multiple formats, such as video footage, audio recordings, documents, maps and photographs sourced from multiple archives to be accurately geo-referenced and located in space and time. The intention is to make as much material, including unedited video material, freely available, has been addressed by VHA founder Craig Matthew and the designer, Michael Wilson, through the use of a large amount of material easily available via intuitive search tools.

This platform takes struggle archives to a new dimension, not just as a research tool but by providing people with different ways to interact and add to collections. There are strict copyright regulations on the site, due to sensitive issues around liberation struggle materials.

The VHA has archival agreements with international broadcasters such as, ITN and ARD and local archives, such as SAHA and is in discussion with numerous other museums, academic archive holders and television production companies.

Archival material from SAHA are represented in the form of documents from the United Democratic Front (UDF) Collection (AL2431), the SAHA Original Collection (AL2457), the Freedom of Information (FOIP) Collection (AL2878) as well as a selection of 100 struggle posters from the existing SAHA Poster Collection (AL2446).

VHA is a good-shop front for people and organizations who want to place material in a public space where it can be viewed but not copied - easily accessible but not downloadable.

See: www.visualhistoryexplorer.com