Between 2018 and 2021, I ran a project to preserve and digitise the archives of the Mineworkers’ Union of Zambia (MUZ) 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.
This archive was previously in poor condition due to the severe challenges the union has faced since the 1990s with mass redundancies from the mines. You can read more about this digitisation project in an article I wrote for the journal History in Africa, which is available open access.
The project has been supported and funded by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, thanks to the tireless efforts of Stefano Bellucci. The actual work of scanning and digitising the documents in this archive was done by Enala Kufakula, Shalom Zulu and Tapiwa Zulu.
Digitisation is now complete and a copy of both the digital archive and the original physical archive is available at the head office of MUZ in Katilungu House, Obote Avenue, Kitwe. A second copy of the digital archive will be hosted at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, but unfortunately the process of making this available to researchers has been delayed by the pandemic.
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.