A Taste of the Employment Bureau of Africa (Teba): Mining the Past
This article describes the Employment Bureau of Africa (TEBA) archives housed at the University of Johannesburg, the origin of TEBA, and its impact on general history and mining history of South Africa and Southern Africa. It also explains difficulties and challenges involved in preserving and making its huge collection accessible to researchers. TEBA's history goes back to 1902 when the Chamber of Mines, founded the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (WNLA) and the Native Recruiting Corporation (NRC) to obtain unskilled labour to work in the mines of South Africa. The following issues are highlighted: the theory and trends surrounding labour and specifically mining archives, resolving the issue of preservation versus accessibility, raising awareness with regard to the vast scope of possible research topics within the collection and the possibilities and future initiatives presented by the acceptance of custodianship of a very significant and exciting collection.
Keywords: TEBA, labour archives, mineworkers history, accessibility, preservation
ESARBICA Vol. 27 2008: pp. 128-146