National Library of Namibia

The National Library and Archives Service of Namibia

Ministry of Education NamibiaThe National Library and Archives Service of Namibia is an example of the bringing together of library and archives services at a national level (as pioneered in Canada) and has an excellent international reputation.  Its Director chaired the regional branch for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARBICA) at the International Council on Archives from 2009-2011.  The Namibian Archives Service had to focus on other priorities after the country’s independence and has only recently begun to take an interest in literary manuscripts.

Veno Kauaria

Veno V Kauaria

Veno V Kauaria is Namibia’s leading librarian and archivist. As National Archivist she directs the National Archives in Windhoek, and is responsible for all public archives in the country. She represents a diverse range of countries within the International Council on Archives (ICA), where she chaired ESARBICA (The Eastern and Southern Africa Branch) from 2009-2011. She serves on ICA’s Executive Board, and is an active member of their Section for the Archives of Literature and Art (SLA). By linking the new network to the ESARBICA countries and other neighbours, Veno Kauaria will be able to add an important set of perspectives from a region with a rich literary heritage, but with a range of different political and cultural priorities, as the region adjusts to the aftermath of apartheid. Namibia has a wide variety of languages and literatures, including German and English traditions. In other countries (notably Zimbabwe and Kenya) the literature of resistance and liberation is of the highest quality. The liberation struggles in several states (Angola, Mozambique, Namibia) provide examples of political figures who were also prominent literary authors, most notably President Agostinho Neto. South Africa itself provides a different, often tragic, model of diasporic literary archives, with the papers of many refugees from apartheid being housed in their countries of exile, but also with courageous internal traditions of literary collection-building at institutions such as the University of the Witwatersrand and the Alan Paton Centre, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.