Public Education Programme

The public program of the National Archives and Records Aervice of South Africa (NARSSA) is geared at opening up the archives to the public and drawing in or creating new users, of designing the NARSSA' public programming as the condition for an interaction and interface between the public archives and society. In post-apartheid South Africa this has meant that the objectives and content of public programming have to be aligned with societal imperatives.

Public programming calls for active outreach - "taking archives to the people"- as the popular slogan goes. Section 5 of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996, as amended) determines the parameters of outreach and public programming: special emphasis has to be placed on activities, strategies and programmes that are designed to open up the archives to, and include, the less privileged and previously marginalised members of our society, and to ensure that these activities make the information contained in the archival holdings known to the public. Ultimately then, public programming strategies should lead members of the public to the realisation that the archive is an invaluable community resource.

The main activities of public programming are guided visits that target various social groups, exhibitions, publications, open days, public lectures and services to the public which includes  genealogical research.

An important aspect of public programming is the educational and training functions that are executed by the NARSSA. Staff is involved in the designing of curricula for Archival Studies, lecturing in this field, providing placements for practical training for students of Archival Studies, providing practical training for archivists and records managers from other African countries,  as well as providing expertise in the fields of electronic record keeping, and advising on legislation pertaining to information technology.

At an international level the NARSSA has established many ties for example it  is a member of the International Council on Archives (ICA) and its regional body, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ESARBICA). In 2012 UNESCO and ICA signed a declaration on archives which the NARSSA supports. Its also a member of the following international/regional/national bodies: 

  • OHASA- Oral History Association of South Africa;
  • UNESCO Memory of the World Programme;
  • SASA- Society of South African Archivists;
  • AFDA - African Film Drama  Academy  (the South African School of Motion picture medium and live performance);
  • IOHA-International Oral History Association;
  • ESARBICA - Eastern and Southern African Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives;
  • FIAF -Federation of International Film Archives;
  • FIAT - Federation of International Television Archives;
  • IASA - International Association of Sound and Audio Visual Archives;
  • ICA - International Council on Archives;
  • ICT - Information and Communication Technology;
  • ICTM - International Council for Traditional Music;
  • INA - L’institut National de l’audiovisuel; and
  • ISO - International Standards Organisation.


Plan your visit

Bookings (Group Visits and Tour of the Archival  Buildings)
Bookings should be done at least three weeks in advance in order to allow organisers ample time to make the necessary arrangements. booking form
  • The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa is located in Arcadia Pretoria at 24 Hamilton Street.
For a map of the area click here: 25°44'15.3"S 28°12'19.0"E
  • The National Film, Video and Sound Archives is located at 698 Stanza Bopape Street (old Church Street).
For a map of the area click here: -25.744370,28.214294