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This project was made possible with the support of The Atlantic Philanthropies.
  The Project  
  Historical Papers  
  SAHA - South African History Archive  
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+ how to use this site
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+ TRC act no.34, 1995

  H O W    T O    U S E    T H I S    S I T E
1. What contextual information is provided about the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa, this specific project, and the collections and records that resulted from this project?

Anyone interested in gaining some background to the Truth and Reconciliation process in general may benefit from reading the contextual commentary provided by Piers Pigou. These short essays can be accessed below:

  1. Background and Prehistory to the TRC
  2. Human Rights Violations
  3. Amnesty
  4. Reparations
  5. Aftermath and Unfinished Business

Basic information about the project that SAHA and Historical Papers undertook, of which this website is one result, can be found here. []

Basic information about the collections and documents themselves can be found directly from this website.

Some additional information may be available from accessing the websites of
SAHA [http://www.wits.ac.za/saha/programmes_sfj_03.htm] and by accessing the guide available from Historical Papers at [http://www.wits.ac.za/histp/collections.htm]

2. How can I browse through the digitised documents made available on this website?

You have two options for browsing for digitised documents. If you are interested in looking at documents originating from a specific individual or organisation, browsing by collection would be your best option.

Every digitised document on this website was also categorised by the main objectives of the TRC that it related to. If you are interested in finding primary documents related to a specific aspect of the TRC process, such as specific problems relating to the Amnesty Process, you should browse for documents by category.

3. How can I search for documents related to a specific issue or case?

You have two options for searching through the digitised documents. Every digitised document was associated with specific keywords that relate to the main content of the document itself. Searching by keyword is most appropriate if you are looking for a more precise search.

In some cases however, you may be looking for a specific word or phrase that would
not have been selected to be a keyword. This would be true especially in instances where
an individual or specific word is not related to the major theme of the document. Searching by free text [Google search] scans all the text of the documents themselves, and returns any documents containing that same word or phrase. Searching by this method often will usually result in a greater recall of documents.

4. Each document is available in two forms? Which form is the best for my needs?

Every document presented on this website is available as an image file, and as electronic text. The electronic text is available by clicking on the “Plain Text” link adjacent to the document name. This form is convenient if you wish to quote from a section of the document. This electronic text has been generated by a process called Optical Character Recognition and as this process is automated, there may be some errors in the electronic text version of documents.

As a result, you can also access image files of each page of the digitised document by clicking on the “View Images” link adjacent to the document name. This form is convenient if you wish to have a better sense of the original look and feel of the document itself. Photographs, graphs, illustrations, handwriting in margins of documents, or the underlining of text would not be visible in the electronic text version of the document. If you want to authoritatively cite from a document, you should look at the image files as well.