Welcome to Metadata for Africa!

Africa has rich heritage resources that showcase its history and culture. These are spread throughout our continent in memory institutions such as libraries, museums and archives and in the hands of private collectors. Digitisation is a wonderful way of making the wealth of these collections available to an African and global audience. Capturing the collections in digital form, however, is only half of what is needed to really make them available. If they are to be useful to researchers, students, scholars and other users, they have to be findable. And that is where we need your help!

Metadata for Africa is a community of skilled people who are passionate about contributing to Africans telling Africa’s story – enabling the best of African historical, cultural and natural collections to get to an African and global audience. We want to be part of enabling Africa’s story to be heard from an African perspective. So much of Africa’s story is told by those outside of Africa. We are contributing to changing that, to making primary resources about our history, culture and natural resources available to the World. We do this by adding information to digital files such as photographs, audio, video and manuscripts – information that can be used to search for and find these digital files. For instance, we might add a caption to a photograph, that explains what is in the photograph and we may add keywords that highlight the main subject matter of the photograph. Often there is some information associated with the files and we are able to bring order to that information. At other times we need to do some research to add useful information to the file. Mostly we do this from the comfort of our own home, working on our own computers with an internet connection.

We have found that there is a wealth of, often untapped, expertise, knowledge and wisdom among the senior members of our communities. Many of us are retired teachers, historians, archivists, journalists, librarians, archaeologists, museologists etc. We have a broad general knowledge and the ability to research and have a passion to contribute some of the wealth of what we have gained over the years to making Africa’s primary memory resources available for current and future generations.

If you are interested, we would love you to join our community and to contribute to the extent that you can to widening access to knowledge and information and therefore deepening education, freedom and democracy on the African continent. Fill in the form below and we will gladly be in touch to get you going in contributing to this great cause.