SAHA has designed this online resource as a way of introducing and demonstrating oral history to South African young historians. The virtual exhibition is not only dedicated to young historians - it is inspired by their work. SAHA's Department of Education Nkosi Albert Luthuli Young Historians' Collection is a showcase of the work of South African history learners and educators who have participated in the competition between 2006 and 2009. The content of portfolios reflects an array of diverse, original and often challenging topics related to South Africa's past. Learners combine traditional methods of archival research with oral history interviews; their work demonstrates the potential of alternative history methods in representing the lives of ordinary South Africans previously ignored in the ‘official' narrative of South African history.
Our online resource provides a way for SAHA to engage closely with learners and educators through the provision of online material related to oral history. Our commitment to oral history education has already led to our involvement in a number of projects, including the 2007 SAHA/Sunday Times School Oral History Project, a ground breaking oral history and memorial building project with schools from all three towns in South Africa. A number of images taken during the SAHA/Sunday Times project are included in the exhibition, reflecting the energy, excitement and commitment of all involved. By involving learners directly in the process creating history, oral history education promotes a more meaningful relationship with local histories from around South Africa.
Each theme page of the virtual exhibition has been carefully presented to enrich the process of learning and teaching oral history. Offerings from the original oral history project portfolios submitted by learners and educators can be downloaded as a way of demonstrating the methods used. We have provided examples of every stage of the work, including correspondence with interviewees, mind maps, reports, transcripts, pamphlets, and other examples of primary source material. The interactive timeline gives users the opportunity to hear the histories of learners by using content found in the Department of Education Nkosi Albert Luthuli Young Historians' Collection. In this way, an alternative history of significant dates, events and turning points has been created. The chronology of this timeline is broad, and relies on the learners' portfolios; a selection of this material can be found in the library; we have also provided a page with links to a range of online resources related to oral history.
Visit SAHA's oral history collections:
SAHA remains committed to oral history as a method of looking at the past, and in light of this we have created a number of collections related to oral history projects undertaken in the past few decades with a number of key struggle leaders, as well as relatively unknown, yet crucial, players in the freedom movement. Material from these collections has been included throughout this exhibition.
AL2460: The Julie Frederikse Collection
AL2461: The SAHA Exiles Project
AL2933: The 1981 Detainees Oral History Project
AL2984: The Tucker Foundation Oral History Project
AL2985: The TRC Oral History Project
AL3027: The Barbara Harmel Collection
AL3280: The Forgotten Voices of the Present Collection
AL3285: The Department of Education Nkosi Albert Luthuli Young Historians' Oral History Collection
If you are interested in finding out more about our work on oral history, please contact the Struggles for Justice (SFJ) Programme