Original Research

Disembodied archives: The disconnectedness of records and archives management practices within the Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological Libraries, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Francis Garaba
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1357 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1357 | © 2015 Francis Garaba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 May 2014 | Published: 26 November 2015

About the author(s)

Francis Garaba, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


This article discusses the findings of a study that was conducted between February 2013 and November 2013 to determine the inter-connectedness between records and archives management practices for religious archives within the Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological libraries (PCTL). It is important to note that much of our national heritage is recorded in the archives of our religious institutions, hence the need to ensure that a continuum of care is provided for this Christian heritage from the point of creation to the retirement of those records with enduring value. Data for this study were obtained primarily through a selfadministered questionnaire, interviews and direct observation. The study revealed that there is much disharmony with regards to records and archives management-practices, which explains why documentary records in custody were incomplete. This incompleteness threatens the corporate memory of these institutions. An important recommendation proposed is the urgent need for archivists within these establishments to adopt a proactive stance in order to ensure that records should not only be properly managed for business continuity but that a healthy and complete record should be transferred to the repository for the benefit of posterity. Furthermore, there is a need to establish a central depository to coordinate records and archives management-activities, thus ensuring best practices in records and archives management.


Records management, records inventory, records retention schedule, religious archives, Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological Libraries


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