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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Helping South Africans trace their roots

BEQUEST: Vuyiseka Mtshakazi, Assistant Librarian at the Wellington Campus Library, looks after the Genealogical Collection bequeathed to CPUT by the Genealogical Institute of South Africa. BEQUEST: Vuyiseka Mtshakazi, Assistant Librarian at the Wellington Campus Library, looks after the Genealogical Collection bequeathed to CPUT by the Genealogical Institute of South Africa.

A genealogical collection donated to CPUT will help members of the public and researchers to trace their ancestry.

The collection, which is housed at the Wellington Campus Library, can be accessed for free.

The genealogical collection has been bequeathed to the university by the now-defunct Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA), which was based in Stellenbosch. CPUT recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding over the donation with GISA.

Integrated as part of the bigger CPUT Libraries’ Special Collection, the GISA Collection of film rolls and apparatus, books, clippings, photographs and reference works.

Also included in the collection are records from the Dutch Reformed church and other churches in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The records consist of baptism and marriage registries as well as death notices on film.

While GISA used charge a nominal fee for the service and access to the collection, CPUT libraries made the collection available at no cost to users.

Besides records GISA also bequeathed to CPUT Microfiche Readers, Microfilm Readers and a Film Digitization Computer.

“We haven’t checked against CPUT’s own collection if we don’t have some of the titles in the GISA Collection, but we’ll do so soon,” said Vuyiseka Mtshakazi, at the Wellington Campus Library.

Mtshakazi added that sorting and arranging the collection according to the Dewy System is a very big project.

Librarian Joanne Arendse said researchers have already started to visit the library to make use of the new collection.

“And we’ve been receiving positive feedback from them,” added Arendse.

Microfilms that only GISA had are also part of the collection donated to CPUT. “The aim is to have the information contained in the films to be digitised,” she said.

“The material will be catalogued as Local Genealogy History Collection and is part of CPUT’s Special Collection.”

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.