Contestations, Ownership, Access and Ideology: Policy Development Challenges for the Digitization of African Heritage and Liberation Archives
The digitization of heritage material for publication on the worldwide web is a site of struggle and the real challenges are not technological or technical but social and political. What is at stake is the politics of memory in digital form and how whatever is selected for digitization projects frames research agendas and plays a role in repackaging history. The development dimension is also paramount, the issue of how these projects enhance the public interest, service researchers in the South and promote South-South dialogue. This paper concentrates on policy rather than on narrow technical issues and engages the larger questions which frame digitization projects, such as national policies and processes around heritage, political identities, contested archives, the commodification of the archive and the archive as shaper of national histories. This paper also gives a brief overview of the South African experience, examines notions of partnership that cut across international boundaries, interrogates the ideological and intellectual ramifications, including issues of content selection and access, and engages in policy framework discussions and recommendations.
ICADLA, conference, digital library, archive, policy, african, heritage