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RARI has a substantial collection of historical documents, photographs, redrawings and slides in addition to its large working collection of slides, tracings and redrawings.

Over time, many of the older slides started to change colour and deteriorate in quality, prompting a programme to preserve the historical documents, photographs and slides in RARI's possession and reduce their handling by researchers and visitors. Preservation was possible by digitising the collections and making them available on a database, thereby reducing physical handling while facilitating access to images and documents.

The scope of this project has been funded by the Ringing Rocks Foundation, Andrew W Mellon Foundation and the South African National Lottery.

The South African Digital Archive (SARADA) is registered as a section 21 company not for financial gain, but with the sole purpose of furthering research, education and site management, thereby helping promote the development and reconstruction of Southern Africa's history.

Some examples of digitised rock art appear below