The debate about some of the personalities from South Africa’s colourful history has been raging for weeks. One figure whose contribution has raised little ambivalence is two time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Helen Suzman. Wits University reported late last week that the process to digitise the icon’s memorabilia has been completed.

The process began in 2013 and the collection is said to be one of the largest in the Historical Papers Research Archive at Wits University’s Digitisation Centre. 306 056 digital objects resulted in 125GB of digitised material. Items digitised include letters, posters and audio recordings from as far back as 1944 until her passing in 2009.

It is encouraging to find that although some reminders of our past are torn down, others are preserved in a manner that will endure and lead to less controversy. Copyright for the collection is owned by Suzman’s daughter Frances Jowell who is also responsible for granting permission to consult it.

[Image – Barnard Center for Research on Women]