Little Research Value: African Estate Records and Colonial Gaps in a Post-Colonial National Archive

November 24, 2017|
Little Research Value: African Estate Records and Colonial Gaps in a Post-Colonial National Archive by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila
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Ellen Ndeshi Namhila is intrigued by the question: Why can the National Archives of Namibia respond to genealogical enquiries of Whites in a matter of minutes with finding estate records of deceased persons, while similar requests from Blacks cannot be served? Not satisfied with the sweeping statement that this is the result of colonialism and apartheid, she follows the track of so-called "Native estates" through legislation, record creation and disposal, records management and administrative neglect, authorised and unauthorised destruction, transfer and appraisal, selective processing, and (almost) final amnesia. Eventually she discovers over 11,000 forgotten surviving African estate records - but also evidence for the destruction of many others. And she demonstrates the potential of these records to interpret the lives of those who otherwise appear in history only as statistics - records which were condemned to destruction by colonial archivists stating they had "little research value and no functional value." This study of memory against forgetting is a call to post-colonial archives to re-visit their holdings and the systemic colonial bias that continues to haunt them. This is the revised version of Ellen Namhila's 2015 doctoral thesis published at the University of Tampere, Finland.

Ellen Ndeshi Namhila is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Namibia (UNAM) in Windhoek, the previous Director of Namibia Library and Archives Service and a well-known writer, historian and advocate of knowledge and heritage.
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Title:Little Research Value: African Estate Records and Colonial Gaps in a Post-Colonial National ArchiveFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:278 pages, 9.61 X 6.69 X 0.58 inShipping dimensions:278 pages, 9.61 X 6.69 X 0.58 inPublished:November 24, 2017Publisher:African Books CollectiveLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3905758784

ISBN - 13:9783905758788

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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