WITS-NRF Digitisation Capacity Development Initiative


May 2018 saw the launch of an exciting initiative by the National Research Foundation in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand Libraries to set up an institute that can create digitisation capacity in South Africa. This was the first initiative of its kind funded by the NRF and is an exciting initiative in South Africa. It is expected to grow significant capacity in South African institutions in terms of the conceptualisation and execution of significant digitisation projects that can both contribute to the preservation of valuable collections and enable access to them.

Isaac Nkadimeng, Principal Curator: Archives and Digitisation at University of the Witwatersrand (centre) with Dr Connie Bitso (right), University Librarian at the University of Fort Hare and Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare.
Isaac Nkadimeng, Principal Curator: Archives and Digitisation at University of the Witwatersrand (centre) with Dr Connie Bitso (right), University Librarian at the University of Fort Hare and Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare.

I had the privilege of being invited at the last minute to present at the launch event, when another speaker had a family crisis, and to share something of our experience in digitising the ANC Archive. I started with the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit that placed South Africa behind Kenya in terms of its digitisation efforts and ended with an appeal for government, business and institutions to ackowledge one another’s contribution and work together to cross the digital divide. You can hear that speech on SoundCloud which was graciously recorded by Ayodele Ladokun from the University of Fort Hare.
A member of the Wits University digitisation team explains the digitisation technology that the University has available to Dr Daniel Adams, Chief Director: Department of Science and Technology (left) and Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Post-Graduate Affairs, Wits University (centre), while Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare (second left) looks on during the official opening of the Wits-NRF Digitisation Capacity Development Initiative at the Wartenweiler Library 4th floor, University of the Witwatersrand.
A member of the Wits University digitisation team explains the digitisation technology that the University has available to Dr Daniel Adams, Chief Director: Department of Science and Technology (left) and Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Post-Graduate Affairs, Wits University (centre), while Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare (second left) looks on during the official opening of the Wits-NRF Digitisation Capacity Development Initiative at the Wartenweiler Library 4th floor, University of the Witwatersrand.

Isaac Nkadimeng, Principal Curator: Archives and Digitisation at University of the Witwatersrand (centre) with Dr Connie Bitso (right), University Librarian at the University of Fort Hare and Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare.
Isaac Nkadimeng, Principal Curator: Archives and Digitisation at University of the Witwatersrand (centre) with Dr Connie Bitso (right), University Librarian at the University of Fort Hare and Ayodele O. Ladokun (left), Lecturer in Computer Literacy at the University of Fort Hare.