This paper aims to assess the appraisal, disposal and transfer of records of the Kruger National Park (KNP) rangers’ diaries processes from 1926 to 1930 with a view to recommend best practices.
The paper applied a qualitative methodology through document analysis, interviews and observations as data collection instruments to analyse contents of rangers’ diaries. The population of the study comprised rangers, a records manager and a representative from the National Archives of South Africa (NARSSA), a member of South Africa National Parks’ management and a scientist from South African National Biodiversity Institute.
The key findings revealed that rangers’ diaries contain historical, scientific and cultural information. However, such information is not disseminated to society. Lack of systematic appraisal, arrangement of records led to a loss of institutional memories. The role of National Archives and Records Service of South Africa is not visible to provide guidelines on the preservation of rangers’ records.
This research is limited to KNP ranger’s diaries created from 1926 to 1930 because it is the period of establishment of the national park and introduction of rangers’ programme.
The findings are expected to be instrumental towards the preservation of rangers’ diaries within the park. Rangers’ diaries are also potentially of great biogeographical value in constituting a historical record of the plants and animals in a given area, their distribution and population changes, and the effects of human interventions such as game fences and artificially created waterholes, game culling and tourism, not to forget climate change.
Preservation of ranger diaries may lead to documentation of records with historical, scientific and social value. Rangers’ diaries also form part of the national archival heritage of South Africa, as they bridge the gap of undocumented history of the rangers and national parks in South Africa.
This paper appears to be the first to research the assessment of the appraisal, disposal and transfer of rangers’ diaries created from 1926 to 1930.
Netshakhuma, N.S. (2021), "Assessment appraisal, disposal and transfer of neglected rangers’ diaries created from 1926 to 1930: case of the Kruger National Parks of South Africa", Collection and Curation, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 83-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/CC-09-2019-0029
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