n Mousaion - Public programming skills of archivists in selected national memory institutions of East and Southern Africa




The National Archives are an important part of South African society because they serve as memory institutions. Fulfilling this mandate requires archivists to encourage societal engagement with the archives. This article sought to examine the role of an archivist's knowledge and skills in promoting public archival institutions. Therefore, the perceptions and experiences of the directors of the National Archives, archivists who work at the National Archives and Executive Board members from the East and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ESARBICA) were explored. This was achieved through administering questionnaires to all the directors of the National Archives in the ESARBICA region, and conducting interviews with archivists from this region as well as ESARBICA Executive Board members. The intention was to identify whether archivists from the National Archives in the ESARBICA region thought that they have the relevant skills to conduct public programming initiatives; if public programming was part of the core archival curricula in the region; and furthermore, to determine the availability and awareness of public programming training and education in the region. The study provides an overview of public programming, together with a better understanding of the significance of archivists' skills and knowledge regarding public programming in the mission of encouraging greater use of archives.


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