The Eastern Cape Archives and records Service was established by the promulgation of the Provincial Archives & Records Service No.7of 2003.
The piece of legislation transformed the former South African depot in Port Elizabeth into Provincial Archives and Records Service whose mission, functions and structure reflect the post-apartheid political order.
It is formed of three Repositories i.e King William's Town, Port Elizabeth and Mthatha whereby there are three units: Repository Management and outreach & Oral History Programme.
FUNCTIONS OF THE PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE
It is responsible for the acquisition, preservation and promoting the use of the public and non –public records with archival value.
Maintenance of a Provincial automated archival information retrieval system.
Setting standards for supporting governmental bodies.
- The archives constitute a vital part of the nation's heritage and are a means of enhancing national identity, nation building and empowerment.
- They are also the main channel through which governments can be held accountable to the people.
- The government actions become transparent through improved access to archives for the public
- To reach members of the public who don't know about the Archives existence or functions.
- To increase archives, use by taking the archives to the people through visits to educational institutions and communities.
- By taking the cinema to the people who do not know about film and through exhibitions, open days and efficient service delivery.
RECORDS MANAGEMENT UNITS
Is to co-ordinate, manage and ensure implementation of records management within government bodies and non-public organizations in the province or promoting better records keeping practices and accomplishing specific records management functions like:
- Providing advice regarding the formulation of records management policies and procedures.
- Reviewing and approval of records classification systems
- Facilitate records management trainings.
- Appraisal and disposal of records of government bodies.
- Inspection of records Management publications and directives.
REPOSITORY MANAGEMENT UNIT
Is to execute and manage repository services at the Repository including Record centre also manage research and proper preservation of archives records.
- Manage and supervise Repository operations including Record centre
- Co-ordinate description and containerization of archives records for safe preservation.
- Manage reference services-reading room service, telephonic /written and e-mail requests.
- Facilitate participation in National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System and co-ordinate restoration of Archives Records
- Develop policies, procedure manuals and monitor the implementation.
- Facilitate Archival collection development.
OUTREACH & ORAL HISTORY PROGRAMMES UNIT
Is to create and promote an awareness of Archives and Records Service to introduce the concept and customs of archives to the communities at large:
- Manage Oral History programmes.
- Manage Audio –Visual Archives Service.
- Identify training needs and co-ordinate trainings related to Archives staff.
- Facilitate meetings with stakeholders (heritage and records management related issues)
- Co-ordinate outreach programs for Archives and Records Service directed programs as well as participate in provincial, national and international events.
- Assist with inter-repository co-ordination of operations and Special programs.
- Develop policies and procedure manuals and monitor the implementation.
- Collect, record and document peoples' experiences and undocumented history neglected in the past.
- Collect audio visual material from government Departments and have DVD's made in or about the Eastern Cape: Bullhoek Massacre, 1976 Students uprising, and 1956 Women's Anti –Pass March, Bhisho Massacre etc. and they could be viewed during office hours by the members of the public per appointment.