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Public History

Since the 1990s, the History Workshop has received a steady stream of requests for participation in public history and community-driven projects, reflecting its growing reputation as one of the leading public history institutions in the country. This exciting work generates incredibly rich new research and helps establish close partnerships with various groups and organisations both nationally and internationally.

Our approach remains to respond positively to such requests and to assist groups to research, archive and write their own histories. Developing partnerships can be a challenging and lengthy process, typically involving negotiations, training of community-based researchers, fundraising, collaborative research and continuous engagement with various stakeholders. The group is currently involved in several public history projects, of different scales and duration, all of which involve publication outcomes.

 These projects are also generating significant archives, which in turn provide material for further research and study thus enabling new perspectives and new histories to be produced. The Historical Papers research archive in William Cullen Library at Wits has been instrumental to the creation and management of these new archives.