SAHO’s Mission Statement
South African History Online (SAHO) is a non-partisan people's history institution. It was established in June 2000 as a non-profit Section 21 organisation, to address the biased way in which South Africa’s history and heritage, as well as the history and heritage of Africa is represented in our educational and cultural institutions.
SAHO is committed to promoting history and critically engaging with our past through the building of a comprehensive online encyclopaedia and popular history programmes on South African and African history and culture.
SAHO is committed to developing multi-faceted and integrated educational outreach projects that serve to promote research critical to the understanding of our past, strengthen the teaching and learning of history and the telling of the stories of ordinary people who have contributed to freedom and the building of democracy, non racialism, and a just society.
History and background
Online Encyclopaedia of South African History:
SAHO’s is the largest popular history project of its kind on the continent. The SA History’s flagship project is its website, which is a vast encyclopaedia on South African and African history. The website is acknowledged for its accuracy, with all its articles carefully referenced and all featured articles are linked to a vast archive of documents, journal articles, online books and images.
SAHO website along with its innovative education and internship and partnership programme with universities, museums and archives is aimed at strengthening research, and the teaching and learning of history and popularising history.
It has also changed the way people and institutions can access, contribute to and use history and archives. The success of the SAHO website can be gauged from the fact that in 2013 close on 4.5 million visitors of which 3 million were unique or first time visitors used our website.
SAHO schools history project includes the publication of the entire history curriculum material which is free, downloadable and is linked to the vast archive of material on our website. SAHO also works closely with the Department of Basic Education in developing resources for use by teachers in schools.
In 2010 SAHO initiated the Chief Albert Luthuli Young Historians Oral History Project which has become part of the Departments annual programme. The material produced by the students is published and accessible on our website.
Institutional Partners and Student Internship partners
SAHO has built a dynamic partnership with a number of local and international university history departments which helps generate new research and content for our website. In addition we run a student Internship programme with our institutional partners which is the is the only one of its kind in the country, where history students together with IT and Design student get to work in a dynamic online archive, plus in the production of exhibitions, publications and materials for use in classrooms and lecture theatres.
Exhibition, Publications and Publication
SAHO hosts regular conferences with its university partners, conducted very successful skills training projects with history, IT and design students and produced a number of ground breaking exhibitions and publications.
African History Portal
SAHO in 2013 began the discussion to build an African history website and educational project. The aim is to establish a number of websites with partnered with history departments, heritage and archive institutions in Africa.
Our aim in the next 12 months is to establish of a number of country specific history websites each with its own independent boards. There will be a simultaneous compilation of country by country history on the SAHO website. We aim in the next three years to bring together historians and librarians and students to help sustain the project and create a comprehensive African History Project.
See a full list of past projects.