Original Research

Collaboration between libraries, archives and museums in South Africa

Kagiso Mabe, Andrea Potgieter
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 23, No 1 | a1269 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v23i1.1269 | © 2021 Kagiso Mabe, Andrea Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2020 | Published: 19 May 2021

About the author(s)

Kagiso Mabe, Department of Information and Knowledge Management, College of Business and Economics, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Andrea Potgieter, Department of Information and Knowledge Management, College of Business and Economics, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Many libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) all over the world have begun digitising their collections, and with a good number of these institutions failing to sustain their digitisation projects because they cannot afford to, it is best to find ways to lessen the financial burden that comes with digitisation.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the possible benefits and challenges if LAMs in South Africa were to collaborate on digitisation efforts.

Method: A mono-method qualitative study was undertaken. The objectives were addressed by making use of a literature review and by conducting non-standardised, semi-structured interviews with 21 interviewees located at different LAMs.

Results: It was found that funding for digitisation projects was a major problem, while collaboration between LAMs would involve sharing the financial burden among several institutions. In addition, reasons preventing LAMs from forming collaborative partnerships for the purpose of digitisation were also identified. A lack of collaborative digitisation policies and funding, both internally and between LAMs, was found to be a major obstacle for the formation of such partnerships. In determining the relevance of the research, it was important to determine whether or not LAMs in South Africa were open to collaboration and responses to this question were positive. It can thus be concluded that the results of this study can be used to motivate and guide collaboration partnerships for the purpose of digitisation between South African LAMs.

Conclusion: It was concluded that collaboration could indeed appreciably alleviate problems related to digitisation, the most prominent being the cost associated with such endeavours.


Keywords

libraries; archives; museums; LAMs; collaboration; digitisation

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