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Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) Archive reaches 20 000 entries

The Antarctic Legacy Project began in 2008 with the end goal of creating a product that will be a “… comprehensive electronic source, and in some areas archive (including by necessity paper copy), of the material available for social science, law and humanities research within the South African National Antarctic Programme.”(From: Bringing South Africa’s Antarctic Legacy in from the Cold; A Platform for Social Sciences, Law and Humanities Research. S Chown. 2007.)

During 2019, the repository grew extensively to reach 20 000 entries. Preservation through digitisation is only possible if ALSA receives material about South Africa’s involvement in the Antarctic region. ALSA does the necessary research and attends relevant forums to keep up to date with new preservation techniques and the development within digital repositories. Wandi Tobosi, one of the project’s collaborators, is always on hand to improve the user experience within DSpace environment. Our colleagues at the Stellenbosch University Library (which hosts the repository) keep us up to date with new developments in digital repositories and to ensure that there is enough storage space on their servers.

However, none of the above is possible if there are no contributors of material such as documents and pictures. In 2019 we received many collections and here are a few of the contibutors: Marthán Bester, Adriaan Dreyer, Oliver Hansen, Tom McSherry, Alan Burger, John Cooper and Ben van der Walt.

Even though this material has already been collected, it still needs to be uploaded onto the archive. This digitization will carry on in 2020 along with the collections from Henry Valentine, Bruce Dyer, Valdon Smith and many more. During the ALSA teams’ visit to SANAE IV, we were able to photograph the artifacts at the station and are currently working on these images. The helicopter team (present during the takeover period) provided us with great aerial footage of our three stations and hopefully we will be able to upload all this in our digital archive in 2020.
Once again, we would like to thank all those who contributed material to the archive and we would like to encourage you to contact us if you have material that can be added to the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa’s archive

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