Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Weekly Archivist interview with the Manager of the SABC Radio Archives

Bennie Jacobs
SABC Radio Archives
The SABC Radio Archives forms part of the SABC Media Libraries. Archivists specialize in specific areas/languages of expertise with regards the audio collections being kept in the Archives. There are also Archivists who focus on requests, and we have an archivist who focuses on sound restoration.

This is part of the weekly interviews that will try to pose the same questions to each of the Archivists.
Bennie Jacobs is the Manager of the Radio Archives. He was the news and actuality archivist before he was promoted to manager.
He has been with the SABC Radio Archives for 13 years.

Bennie, please tell us a little bit about your life and career.

I was born in Clydesdale, an area in the Free State. We moved with family to the Transvaal, to be specific we moved to Kliptown; then to Eldorado Park and later we moved to Rust–Ter–Vaal in Vereeniging where I am still based. I studied at PU for CHE at the Vaal Campus for a Teaching Qualification. My work experience before SABC was teaching.

Please tell us about a normal day in your office. What tasks do you give priority to?

Managing the operations of the Radio Archives.

Tell us more about the collection in the SABC Radio Archives and the scope of material that need to be preserved.

 The archivists interviewed would have made you aware of the vast collection that is in the Radio Archives. I would want to talk about what we don’t have of which it is very crucial for us to acquire. The content that we don’t have much of in the Radio Archives is material that the SABC never covered during the apartheid years. It is material that dealt with the struggle against apartheid, for an example we don’t have actuality on June 1976, The Women’s March of 1956, actuality on Steve Biko and some of Radio Springbok material that were not archived. As the Radio Archives we are trying hard to rectify the situation by searching for the material. If there is any one that has such kind of material please donate it to the SABC. We will preserve the material.

Tell us why you enjoy doing the work that you do.

The people that I work with are passionate about the work they do in the Radio Archives, and this really gives me reason to be at work every day. The content that we work with is very informative, and we believe in doing the best for our clients.

Related posts:
The Weekly Archivist Interview: acetate restoration in the SABC Radio Archives
The weekly archivist interview: Sound engineer in the Radio Archives
The weekly archivist interview: Ikwekwezi FM
The weekly archivist interview: Music archivist
The weekly archivist interview: News and actuality
The weekly archivist interview: Sport archivist
The weekly archivist interview: Channel Africa collection

Questions and blog post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

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