The Digital Namibian Archive (DNA) is an innovative project that brings together international partners to develop a rich digital resource that reflects the diversity of voices and cultural stories of Namibian people to individuals throughout the United States, Africa and the world. This collaborative project, lead jointly by Utah Valley University (UVU) and the Polytechnic of Namibia operating in conjunction with the Namibian National Archive, will make the resources available to the public or research and outreach.
The digital archive will make accessible on the Internet a rich resource that reflects the diversity of voices and cultural stories of Namibian people. The urgency driving this project is the aging of individuals who hold the region’s stories of strength, survival and struggle for political self-determination. These stories may disappear with the passing of elders who hold the oral traditions of the indigenous peoples and the personal stories of individuals who participated in the former South West Africa’s struggle for freedom. This region is evolving into a dynamic democracy. The Digital Namibian Archive will also gather and preserve images of independence, photo negatives of the colonial period, documents of transition, and other artifacts. The project will gather additional resources on indigenous peoples, former colonisers, the political resistance, and the transition to independence. This project is intended not only to counter the loss of oral tradition by capturing and cataloguing oral histories, but also develop skills and capacity among Namibians to continue to expand the archive. UVU faculty will conduct workshops for Namibian students and professionals on digital capture, restoration, design, editing and asset management.