What does heritage mean to you as a South African? That’s the main idea behind Heritage Day, which is celebrated on the 24th of September every year. There’s a lot we can learn about our culture and heritage as well as those of other fellow South Africans.

The following online resources are there to do just that, inform you about where we as a people and country come from.

South African History Online

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South African History Online is the largest independent history institute in the country established as a non-profit in the year 2000, and run by a board of historians and various stakeholders in the private sector.

The site is a library of Southern African history dating back to pre-colonial African kingdoms and their origins, down to the Anglo wars, apartheid era and post democratic South Africa. You can also read over 600 biographies of prominent figures featured in South African history such as Mahatma Gandhi, Paul Kruger, Ruth First, Stephen Bantu Biko and Nadine Gordimer, as well as books authored by them.

South African History and Heritage

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The South African History Archive (SAHA) was established by anti-apartheid activists dedicated to documenting the fight for human rights and social justice in South Africa. The site features archival collections consisting of documents, posters, photographs and oral histories donated by individuals and organisations involved in past and ongoing struggles in the country.

SAHA also hosts regular exhibitions of historical artwork and collections around South Africa, and posts its original publications on various topics featured on the site.

South African Heritage Resources Agency

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The South African Heritage Resources Agency, formerly known as the National Monuments Council (NMC), was established as the national administrative body responsible for the protection of South Africa’s cultural heritage.

On the site you can learn about South Africa’s national treasures, archaeological and historic burial sites as well as military history and projects aimed at conserving our heritage.

Google Cultural Institute

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The Google Cultural Institute offers a rich library full of resources from  museums, cultural institutions, and archives from around the world. You can learn about South African history by typing in keywords associated with our country and explore different content such as photos, artwork, news and magazine articles, videos, interviews and stories.

[Main image – CC Flickr Jimmy Baikovicius]