Oral testimonies as a source of community history, with special reference to the Batho project, Bloemfontein
The value of oral testimonies as a source for researching and writing community history is investigated with special reference to the National Museum’s Batho Project. The role of oral history and its contribution towards the study of community history as a sub-discipline of history is discussed. Oral history, community history and cultural history not only complement one another, but also facilitate the holistic study of a community’s history. This article also looks at the ways in which oral testimonies may be used as source material for the writing of a community’s history. The purpose of the Batho Project, how the project was implemented and the experience gained thus far is also discussed. Finally, the importance and signifi cance of community history in the South African context is evaluated.
Key words: Batho; Batho Project; community history; cultural history; oral history; oral testimonies