30 January 2014

SAHA continues to bring history out of the archive in innovative ways

To mark its 100th anniversary in 2006, the Sunday Times committed itself to a number of remarkable projects, collectively known as the Sunday Times Heritage Project (STHP). SAHA played an instrumental role in many of these projects, and in 2009 became the custodian of the records that were created during the course of the STHP.

The then Sunday Times editor, Mondli Makhanya explained the STHP “was to celebrate, commemorate and mark key figures, events, moments that had shaped the Sunday Times Century… the lived experience of South Africans”.  What ensued was a number of projects, such as the creation and installation of memorials, and the production and broadcast of a series of radio documentaries which lead to the development of the CD ‘Voices from our past’, the publication ‘Great lives: pivotal moments’, the booklet and DVD Meeting history face-to-face: a guide to oral history, as well as the interactive DVD ‘Between life and death: stories from John Vorster Square.

The STHP collection documents the development of the many projects that constitute the STHP, and as a result holds a wealth of information on the key figures, events and topics such as Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the TRC, Mohandas Gandhi, Duma Nokwe, Alan Paton, Happyboy Mgxaji, Raymond Dart, George Pemba, Enoch Mgijma and the Bulhoek massacre, Athol Fugard, Nontetha Nkwenkwe, Raymond Mhlaba, Lilian Ngoyi, Cissie Gool , Olive Schreiner, Bessie Head, Ingrid Jonker , Tsietsi Mashinini, Brenda Fassie, Bethuel Mokgosinyana, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Orlando Pirates, John Vorster Square and death in detention, racial classification, the sinking of the SS Mendi, the Purple March and the Eastern Cape beach invasion.

For the past five years, SAHA has continued to develop supplementary materials to complement many of the materials created as part of the STHP.

Voices from our past - cover

For example, a guide for educators was developed to assist in the use of the CD Voices from our past in theBetween life and death: stories from John Vorster Square - coverclassroom. Another guide for educators based on the DVD, Between life and death: stories from John Vorster Square was developed in collaboration with Shikaya, to provide educators with sources, lesson plans and activities to teach aspects of apartheid history in line with curriculum requirements.
Commissioned by SAHA and produced by Doxa Productions as part of the SAHA/STHP in 2007, the DVD features interviews with former detainees and security police as well as photographs, press clippings, drawings and other archival materials – all of which is available in the STHP collection in digital format.


This DVD has further been adapted to create an online exhibit on the Google Cultural Institute website, curated by SAHA, entitled ‘Detention without trial: stories from John Vorster Square’.

Meeting history face-to-face: a guide to oral history

SAHA’s online exhibition Hear our history: an introduction to learning and teaching oral history has drawn largely on another STHP product - the pamphlet and DVD Meeting history face-to-face: a guide to oral history. Designed as an online resource to introduce oral history to young historians and provide enrichment to history educators, Hear our history tackles the practical application of oral history methods as a way of unearthing the hidden stories comprising South Africa’s cultural landscape.



See inventory for the Sunday Times Heritage Project (STHP) collection (AL3282)

Browse the STHP website