Since 2018, I have run a project to preserve and digitise the archives of the Mineworkers’ Union of Zambia (MUZ), which are located at the union’s head office in Kitwe. As the name suggests, MUZ is a trade union representing all grades of mineworkers in Zambia’s mining industry, and it traces its origins back to the African Mineworkers’ Union founded in 1948.
I collected archival documents from the various recesses in which they were stored in the union offices and catalogued this material, but the actual work digitising the documents is being carried out by three research assistants: Enala Kufakula, Shalom Zulu and Tapiwa Zulu. All three are recent graduates from the University of Zambia.
The project has been supported and funded by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam. Two digital copies of the archive will be created, one at the Institute and the other at MUZ. The physical archive will remain at MUZ head office and the union retains ownership over the documents.
I would like to continue making some contribution towards the preservation of Zambia’s past, and my real goal is a mammoth project to digitise the archives of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines. I wrote a short piece about the scope and importance of this archive in 2017.