While the Sabinet African Archives index is currently in its infancy, with over 4 000 collections already added, it will continue to flourish over time. With further content being added or made available as time goes by, Sabinet’s hope is to demonstrate the benefits of the platform as well its strengths. Sabinet African Archives is set to be the single biggest and most robust portal repository of archival indexed information in, around, and on the African continent. For the researcher interested in Africa, this portal makes it easy to discover what archives are available, where.
Our long-term vision is to grow the portal to a point where digitised full-text archival records will be included and offered to our users. More importantly, with ample experience in the digitisation environment, Sabinet already offers the process of digitisation whereby entire physical collections can be captured electronically and archived safely for future reference within this portal.
All of this has to start somewhere though…
As subject experts, we at Sabinet understand the importance of being able to not only understand Africa’s rich and diverse history but the importance of being able to share it with our users. As such, we’re putting a lot of effort into how this portal is going to operate, the obtaining of correct archive collections information, the extend of the collections it will offer, and the ease with which users can engage with it. And we’re doing all of this while also working towards adding functionality and features which we consider as both short- and long-term ‘goals’. Creating an Archives index of this size is a journey and having a roadmap of sorts definitely guides our design.
We’re hoping that as the portal grows that its userbase grows similarly. When it comes to this kind of development work we at Sabinet know that an inclusive approach means we can better gauge user interest, the portal’s effectiveness, and even design our offering for a diversified audience.