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 Post subject: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.25. 11:00 
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This is old news, and I was aware that the University of West of England in Bristol was doing this - from the 'Why Did You Fight' questionnaire - but I've only just come across the webpage, and am posting it for information.

Quote:
UWE wins £423K grant to catalogue Rhodesian Army archive

Issue date: 21 September 2006
Dr Diana Jeater The University of the West of England has just been awarded £423,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to research and catalogue the archives of the Rhodesian army. This project will be carried out in partnership with the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.

At present the archive is sitting in hundreds of uncatalogued boxes in the Bristol-based museum. Researchers who have investigated the boxes have found gems such as poignant photographs of soldiers on both sides of the war for independence; intelligence reports; operational instructions, and policy debates exposing the strengths and weaknesses of a doomed but desperate government. However there is no way of locating specific documents and no organising principle behind the collection, which was saved from destruction after independence in 1980 and smuggled into South Africa.

The three-year project will produce a comprehensive searchable catalogue of this unique collection, with user-friendly web-based access, and a guide to the contents. Up to 10,000 pages of material will also be digitised and included in the Aluka Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa collection, which documents the liberation struggles in southern Africa since the end of World War II. Aluka is a separate project supported in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Project leader Dr Diana Jeater is Principal Lecturer in African History in UWE's Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, and also Chair of the Britain Zimbabwe Society. She said:

“This is a really exciting collection with something for military and social historians, those interested in liberation struggles and questions of identity, and the wider community.

“For forty years, the wars of liberation in southern Africa had a profound impact on the region. Amongst those opposing African majority rule, the Rhodesian Army has been mythologised as a formidable fighting machine. This archive offers for the first time an opportunity to test the folklore surrounding this force, and to situate it in its time and place. The history of Zimbabwe and its links with Britain continue to have resonance in our communities today.”

The team includes Research Fellow Tim Lovering, who is a military historian and trained archivist. He said: “The project's link with the Aluka collection offers a form of repatriation for the material that had to be taken from the country in secret and hidden in people's garages in order to save it. Thanks to this project present-day Zimbabweans, some of whom lost relatives in the war of independence, will have access to this era in their history.”

A full-time archivist will be appointed and the project will welcome volunteers who are training to be archivists or PhD students who wish to base theses on the material.

The project begins in September 2006 and the results will be presented at a public conference, and provide the basis for output such as papers, books and theses.

Gareth Griffiths, Director of BECM, said, "This award confirms the importance of the collections which the Museum Trust has saved for the nation over the past decade. It is enormously exciting that, at last, the work of the Museum staff in collecting this material is being recognised and that it will soon be available to scholars around the world"


-ENDS-


Editor's notes

• The grant has been made under the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Resource Enhancement scheme. For more information on the AHRC, visit http://www.ahrc.ac.uk
• For more information on the Bristol Empire and Commonwealth Museum, visit http://www.empiremuseum.co.uk
The Museum presents the 500-year history of the British Empire, offering evidence of Britain's colonial past from a variety of cultural perspectives. Through its permanent galleries, special exhibitions, events and education programmes it examines the legacy of empire on modern Britain and the present-day Commonwealth. The Museum, which is independent of Government and a registered charity, is a recent nominee for the title 'European Museum of the Year.'

• For more information on the Aluka project visit http://www.aluka.org
The link for this is: http://info.uwe.ac.uk/news/UWENews/news.aspx?id=917

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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.25. 21:32 
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Further digging reveals the project has been completed:

'Wars of Liberation, Wars of Decolonisation: The Rhodesian Army Archive Project'
In partnership with my colleague Dr Kent Fedorowich, we recently completed a £420,000 Resources Enhancement project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to create a catalogue and searchable database for the extensive archive of the Rhodesian Army Association. This collection was housed in uncatalogued boxes at the Empire & Commonwealth Museum in Bristol and the project suffered various upheavals as a result of the closure of the Museum. Nonetheless, the project was completed in autumn 2010. Negotiations continue regarding the future of the collection and its accessibility for researchers. In the meantime, researchers wishing to use the collection are advised to contact Donald ‘Hobo’ Hobson, who is the Rhodesian Army Military Trust representative with responsibility for the archive, at Hobohob@hotmail.co.uk.There was an irregular newsletter describing the progress of the cataloguing project.

•Newsletter 1: April 2007
•Newsletter 2: February 2008
Return of the Empire: private expatriate archives in UK Museums and Libraries
Alongside the cataloguing project, we were awarded funding from the AHRC’s Research Workshops - Museums & Galleries programme for a workshop series entitled ' Return of the Empire: private expatriate archives in UK Museums and Libraries'.

Reports of these workshops may be found here

•Workshop 1: Large Research Archives in Museums. Sept 8th 2007
•Workshop 2: Expatriate archives in Museums. 19th April 2008
The second workshop led to a special issue of Archives, the journal of the British Records Association, edited by Stephen Ball and Tim Lovering: October 2009 (vol. xxxiv, no. 121).

It is one of my current ambitions to work with Ivan Murambiwa at the National Archives of Zimbabwe to source funding to assist in his project for a ‘global archive’ catalogue of Zimbabwe-related materials.

‘Why did you fight?’: The Rhodesia Forces Oral History Project
The AHRC also funded an oral history project, to accompany the archive project. Dr Sue Onslow, from the LSE, London, and Dr Annie Berry worked with me on this project, which was completed in January 2011

Drs Onslow and Berry interviewed over 100 former members of the Rhodesian forces and the British South Africa Police. The catalogue of these interviews is available online and the transcripts/aural data are available at UWE.

In addition, the research team investigated the construction of Rhodesian identity, during and after the war, by asking veterans about their reasons for fighting against the nationalist forces.

To access the catalogue and learn more about the findings of this project visit rhodesian forces oral history project


the above was found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/cahe/hpp/aboutus/ ... eater.aspx


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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.25. 22:32 
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Excellent update, thanks nhbnhb69! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.26. 11:31 
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It is very interesting information. But I have only one question: will be this project unprejudiced or will be typicaly left and Zim-friendly. It looks like second from brief escription in the links :( But I hope they will only catologize information and will not hide pro-Rhodesian and anti-terrs files.


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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.28. 16:19 
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All the documents and information in this archive remain the property of the Rhodesian Army Association. Until this catalogue project was undertaken the shere volume of these uncatalogued and largely unorganised documents meant their use in any research or reference was extremely difficult.

The Resources Enhancement project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has created a catalogue and searchable database for this extensive archive. Niether the A&HRC nor Aluka have taken ownership of or sought to politicise the nature of the collection, merely store and publicise it for purposes of research, education, reference and commentary by others.

Once the project was complete it was neccessary to find a home for this data and the RE project directors agreed with the RAA that it should sit within Aluka's online resource.

Here is a bit about Alika:

"Aluka is an international, collaborative initiative building an online digital library of scholarly resources from and about Africa. ‘Aluka’, is derived from a Zulu word meaning ‘to weave’, reflecting our commitment to connect resources and scholars from around the world. In 2008, we announced that Aluka became part of JSTOR, a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. JSTOR aims to place this content hosted by Aluka alongside current JSTOR collections."

"We seek to build digital collections by attracting high-quality scholarly content about Africa from institutions and individuals across the globe. By contributing their collections to the Aluka platform, content owners will have a means of offering access to their collections to an international audience—without having to develop and support their own technology platforms. Our web-based platform provides powerful tools for research, teaching, collaboration, and knowledge exchange."

http://www.aluka.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2011.07.28. 19:25 
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The contact person at the RAA is Hugh Bomford who is presently compiling a book "The Rhodesian Regiment". The archive is to be housed in the Rhodes library at Oxford, and access will be restricted due to the possibility of content being used by unfriendly elements against ex service personell. The "Lion and Tusk" magazine is looking for pictures and articles of interest, and is a good place to make enquieries as well.
Hugh - theeditor@rhodesianservices.org
Hope this helps.

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"For they were men of men: and their fathers were men before them! I say to you,beside these, the warriors of the Matabele are as timid girls!" M'Jaan general of all Lobengulas' warriors.


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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2012.11.15. 08:43 
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I think this shall be a great place to do research for my book on the Black Devils.... Fingers crossed in the hope Il be allowed access.........


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 Post subject: Re: Rhodesian Army Archives.
PostPosted: 2012.11.15. 22:36 
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Starlight wrote:
The contact person at the RAA is Hugh Bomford who is presently compiling a book "The Rhodesian Regiment". The archive is to be housed in the Rhodes library at Oxford, and access will be restricted due to the possibility of content being used by unfriendly elements against ex service personell. The "Lion and Tusk" magazine is looking for pictures and articles of interest, and is a good place to make enquieries as well.
Hugh - theeditor@rhodesianservices.org
Hope this helps.
Update on the Rhodesia Regiment book: Hugh is not compiling a December 2012 Contact! Contact! Newsletter as the deadline for the book is January 2013.

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"For have we not fought and risked our lives side by side to keep our country safe ...."
RSM Stephen Machado, 1RAR.


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