n Mousaion - Safeguarding South Africa's Portuguese community-based organisational records : the question of custody

Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



This research article made an effort to uncover the attitudes of South African Portuguese community-based organisations in Gauteng, South Africa, towards the custody of their potential archival records and where these organisations would prefer to house any archival records they may hold. The literature reviewed revealed that community records often present community organisations that hold these records with a dilemma regarding who might take custody of their potential records if they do decide to participate in an archival collecting effort of their community. The literature also showed that archival custody options come in different forms, ranging from traditional approaches to custody of physical and legal transfer of ownership to a mainstream archive, to alternative methods often referred to as the post-custodial and stewardship approaches. Utilising an interpretive qualitative research design, similarly the empirical findings from the interviews held with the Portuguese organisations in Gauteng also revealed that these organisations' preferences towards custody were not uniform. The results showed that any proposed archival collecting effort of the Portuguese community will have to take all their divergent views into consideration if an archival collecting strategy that facilitates the contribution of the records from all their organisations is to be achieved. It also became evident that each organisation's preference towards the custody of their records is often contentious and therefore needs to be respected if these community records are to be preserved in the long term.

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