South Africa: DataFirst Rescues Historical Apartheid-Era Datasets
From the University of Cape Town:
Two valuable historical datasets have been rescued thanks to a partnership between the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) DataFirst research data service, the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) and Rhodes Library at Rhodes University (RU), UCT Libraries, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
The two datasets – the Keiskammahoek Rural Survey (KRS) and the Surplus People Project Survey (SPP) – were recently launched at Rhodes University. The rescue and launch of the surveys in late November form part of a national data rescue project initiated by DataFirst.
At the launch, DataFirst founding director Professor Emeritus Francis Wilson provided an account of the development of quantitative research capabilities in South Africa. He also recalled his introduction to KRS, saying that as a young boy he would assist his mother, Professor Monica Wilson, by measuring the water level with a ruler.
Founding head of NALSU and member of the DataFirst external advisory board Dr John Reynolds gave a brief overview of the SPP and KRS. UCT’s Lynn Woolfrey, manager of DataFirst, then provided further information on digitising the two datasets.
The rescue and collaboration underscored the importance of the original dataset as well as publishing data publicly.
The rescue of the datasets is but one recent milestone for UCT’s DataFirst. In November, DataFirst became Africa’s only internationally certified African repository after being awarded the CoreTrustSeal endorsement.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.