South African History Online (SAHO) is the largest independent non-partisan peoples’ history project in the country.
It was established in June 2000, as a non-profit Section 21 organisation, with the aim to address the biased manner in which the history and cultural heritage of South Africa (and Africa) has been represented in our educational and cultural institutions.
SAHO’s mission is to break the silences about our past and to promote history and the arts. It is committed to:
- building a comprehensive online encyclopaedia of South African history and culture
- forging links with local history organisations, universities, museums, libraries and archives to promote research, scholarship and strengthening the teaching and study of history
- encouraging South Africans to help rewrite our history by telling their stories
Online Encyclopaedia of South African and African History
SAHO’s website is its flagship project. It is the largest history website project of its kind on the continent. The website comprises a vast archive and collection of articles, biographies, books, images and videos. Nearly two million users visit the SAHO website every year.
SAHO’s website is recognised for the innovative manner through which content is generated and the way in which knowledge production is linked to educational and community based projects. A core team of researchers , plus students and academics partner institution and contributors from across the globe, daily contribute material for the website.
SAHO’s use of social media platforms coupled with extensive outreach programmes, which includes SAHO assisting community based history projects, libraries and archives to develop their own websites, ensures that we grow into a history portal and provides a platform for ordinary people to tell their stories.
Educational and knowledge production
SAHO’s principle focus is its educational projects which are aimed at making a significant contribution to the teaching and learning of history in the classroom by providing online learning material.
SAHO is playing a significant role in the advancement of scholarship in history and the humanities through its internship program, the hosting of seminars and our annual conference programme as well as publications program.
The organisation since its inception had instituted internship and exchange programme which has grown over the years and provides student interns a rich learning environment, which equips them with the requisite skills and experience necessary to continue with post graduate studies, or to be employed as researchers, in museums, archives and in the IT industry.
SAHO is the only institution in the country which publishes online material that compiles with the needs of schools history curriculum, plus it has worked closely with the Department of Basic Education and produced books, exhibitions, and other history resources for schools.
SAHO also runs the annual Chief Albert Luthuli Oral History Project in partnership with the Department of Basic Education. This programme involves thousands of students going into their communities to record testimonies, gather documentary evidence and writing up their local histories.
Student Internship Programme
SAHO initiated a student internship programme to provide history graduates with an opportunity to work as researchers and in multi-media, networking and publishing environment. Many of SAHO's staff who joined us as researchers have gone on to do PHD's, becoming senior researchers and lecturers ...
Arts and Culture programme
The SAHO art and culture project is aimed at creating a comprehensive archive of the history and role of the arts in our society, developing art history resources for schools and scholars and the promotion of art generally. This programme is committed to
- research and online publication of the various aspects of art history and achievements of artists
- the production of resources for use in schools and providing support for art history teachers,
- promoting the arts and artists through its publishing and exhibition programme and its bi-annual Bonani Africa Documentary Photography Festival.
South African History Online is governed by a Board of Directors.