Cynthia Kros, John Wright, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, and Helen LudlowNov 11, 2022
Archives of Times Past
Conversations about South Africa’s Deep History
Wits University Press 2022
Archives of Times Past: Conversations about South Africa’s Deep History (Wits University Press, 2022) is an exploration of particular sources of evidence on southern Africa’s early history. It gathers recent ideas about archives and asks the question: “How do we know, or think we know, what happened in the times before European colonialism?”
Historians use a wide range of source materials for this work. What are these materials? Where can we find them? Who made them? When? Why? What are the problems with using them? The essays by well-known historians, archaeologists and other researchers engage these questions from a range of perspectives and in illuminating ways. Written from personal experience, they capture how these researchers encountered their archives of knowledge beyond the textbook. The aim is to make us think critically about where ideas about the time before the colonial era originate and to encourage us to think about why people in South Africa often refer to this “deep history” when arguing about public affairs in the present. The essays will appeal to students, academics, educationists, teachers, archivists, and museum practitioners.
Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology, and a volunteer at Interference Archive. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive.