STRUGGLE HISTORY NOW ON NAMIBIAN WEBSITE
Extensive documentation of Namibian history can be accessed on the Internet through the recently launched Aluka project, an international online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. This will be available from June this year.
The website contains archival materials, periodicals, oral histories, books, posters and photographs that explore the critical pre-independence era. The site aggregates in a single place materials that had been physically scattered and difficult to access, and in this way opens up new possibilities for research and teaching.
Its primary objective is to provide African researchers and students with scholarly materials originally from Africa, now out of their reach.
Content selection involved the presentation of multiple and contesting perspectives rather than simply retelling conventional narratives. It covers three areas such as African cultural heritage sites and landscapes; African plants; and the struggles for freedom in Southern Africa.
Aluka Namibia covers five broad themes. These include the colonial system; popular resistance; organised anti-colonial movements and political groups; regional and international perspectives; and Southern Africa's thirty years of war.
Plans are also to make available online a set of inventories and finding aids of various archives and depositories in the Southern African region and other parts of the world.
Much of the material was collected and compiled by the National Archive of Namibia - where the project is based - in tandem with Aluka representatives Tom Nygren and Professor Allen Isaacman. Others come from the Nordic Africa Institute, Russia and Finland. This includes materials from former missionaries and solidarity movements. Also captured are archives of SWAPO (SPARC) UNAM and other academic institutions.
The project was started in August 2003 building on work previously done on digitizing underground anti-apartheid periodicals from 1960 to 1994, according to the chairperson of Aluka Namibia Committee, Ellen Ndeshi Namhila.