The National Library of South Africa joined the global community in celebrating World Digital Preservation Day on 02 November 2023. This is an annual event dedicated to recognising the critical role of digital preservation in safeguarding our cultural heritage and knowledge for future generations. The 2023 World Digital Preservation Day was celebrated under the theme “Digital Preservation: A Concerted Effort”.
The National Library of South Africa has been at the forefront of digital preservation efforts, working diligently to safeguard the rich tapestry of South Africa’s cultural, historical, and scientific heritage. Our commitment to preserving digital content is driven by the belief that access to information and cultural heritage is a fundamental right.
Mr Kepi Madumo, National Librarian and CEO of the NLSA explains the library’s commitment to safeguarding our documentary heritage. “As the world commemorates World Digital Preservation Day, the National Library of South Africa proudly stands at the forefront of the digital preservation movement, guarding our nation’s cultural heritage with unwavering dedication and cutting-edge technology, a task that resonates deeply with our mission. In an age where information is increasingly stored in digital formats, the National Library of South Africa has taken on the vital responsibility of safeguarding the past for the benefit of future generations and making digitized materials accessible to the public”.
Over the years, the NLSA has created partnerships with various national libraries. These partnerships seek to find ways to better preserve and safeguard national heritage collections. Notably, the National Library of South Africa in partnership with the University of Cape Town Libraries, the Endangered Archives Programme of the British Library and the National University of Lesotho recently hosted a Round Table Dialogue under the theme “Preserving and Conserving Documentary Heritage in Africa: A Strategic Imperative”.
To celebrate World Digital Preservation Day, the National Library of South Africa throughout the month of November shared with the public information on how collections are digitised and ways in which the public can access digitised materials.