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Future proofing our national treasures

Wits is home to thousands of world renowned and priceless collections. Digitisation is key to being able to share these treasures with local and international researchers and other users, but also to secure their long-term security. 

Centenary projects:

1. Understanding our deep human journey by endowing the future

The newly established Centre for the Exploration of the Deep Human Journey builds on Wits’ long-standing pre-eminence in the field of paleoanthropology. The endowment will build a permanent home for this science, and ensure that a long lasting legacy of exploration, discovery and science continues into the future. It is the ultimate African science, as all of humanity is ultimately from Africa. By establishing this legacy fund, Wits will remain central to shedding light on our shared human journey.

2. Creating archives of the future by learning from our unmatched record of the past

We are seeking support for the Wits Central Archive, which includes the Historical Papers Research Archive, one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in southern Africa. The Archive houses over 3 400 collections of historical, political and cultural importance, from the mid-17th Century to the present. It includes Nelson Mandela’s original papers from the Rivonia Trial, which led to his imprisonment. The Archive is an invaluable resource for scholars seeking lessons from our political and social history.

3. Utilising new technologies to revolutionise the understanding of key collections

The application of technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality will revolutionise the way we research, interpret and display many of our key collections for the University community and the general public.