Marie-Louise Rouget 2023

University of Galway

Grave concerns: the state of public cemetery records management in South Africa [v]

This paper investigates the relationship between public cemetery management and public records management in South Africa. The intersection of South African cemetery management and archives and records management has not previously been explored and represents a rich area for further research. In order to build a common ground for reflection and recommendations, this paper centres on the present regulatory framework for cemetery records management and how records management principles are understood and implemented by cemetery managers. The investigation also draws together beliefs regarding the significance of public cemetery records. While poor records management is known to be an issue in South African public cemeteries, it is treated as less important than burial space shortages, despite representing a useful tool to overcome this primary problem. Cemetery managers have inconsistent beliefs regarding the significance of cemetery records and their role as record keepers. The research points to sufficient cause for intervention by local archivists and records managers.


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