Capturing traces of mutual heritage from archival, documentary, archaeological, oral and architectural resources.

South Africans have an enormous interest in the mutual heritage that they share with communities around the world. Cape Town has been a port of call for ships since about AD 1500, and our history, cultural and family traditions and faces reflect a diversity of interactions. On our eastern seaboard, the impacts of traders, slavers and explorers from Africa and countries around the Indian Ocean rim goes back millennia.

Traces of these pasts are still being discovered, or re-discovered and re-interpreted as our particular interests and approaches change. New archaeological sites are excavated, forgotten documents resurface, and new questions are asked of known sources. With the huge developments in computer-aided research and digital equipment, and increasing affordability of high-tech processes, there are fresh opportunities for both academic and lay researches to get access to information.

However, it is often difficult to develop a proposal, find and administer funding, and then to set up a team and manage the project. People have wonderful ideas, but very often can only make them happen through collaborating with others.

The Tracing History Trust (a non-profit organisation) provides expertise in managing, capturing, interpreting and disseminating these resources. We have a wide network of contacts with professional and lay people with relevant interests and technical know-how. Having worked in this field for over 30 years, we have also learned patience and persistence!