How to Contribute / FAQ's

How to Contribute:

If you contribute your family’s history to the SAJM Digital Archive, you will be part of a project that will safeguard the history of a unique community. Adding your content to the archive will require you to gather all the documents or photographs you wish to include, scan them and then add a description of each item. For an easy step-by-step guide on how to contribute to our archive please contact

How to Volunteer:

Do you enjoy researching historical facts? Do you have an eye for detail? Are you comfortable working on Excel? The SAJM Digital Archive is looking for volunteers to help update our online collection. This can be done from your own home, wherever you are in the world. If you are interested and would like to learn more about how you can contribute your time, please email us at


What material are you looking for?

We are looking for old films, photographs, documents and letters that relate to South African Jewish history. These items can come from private families or communal organisations.

How am I going to give the SAJM my material?

We have created an easy step-by-step guide to help you convert your original material to digital format and describe each item. Click here to find out more.

What if I have an old artefact?

Take a photograph of the artefact. You will need to describe its use and origin. If you are not sure of this information, contact us to ask one of our researchers for guidance.

How long will it take to digitise my collection?

This is up to you and depends on the style and scope of your collection. Some collections can take an afternoon to scan and describe, while others can take a few months. Once we have received your scanned collection along with your descriptions, the process is quick. Our turn-around-time to upload onto the website is generally two weeks.

Will you be able to keep my original material?

No. The SAJM does not have capacity to store your physical collection, hence the need to store digital copies for future generations on the SAJM Digital Archive website. The AtoM-based software is automatically backed up both on-site and off-site as well as on a web-based cloud system.

Is any original material preserved?

Yes. The Kaplan Centre archive stores items of broad historical significance such as documentation from important events and meetings or relating to renowned figures in South African Jewish history. Physical material is stored in a newly expanded, climate-controlled archive that complies with best practices.

Where will my material end up?

Digital copies of your collection will be safely preserved in the SAJM Digital Archive and made available on our website. By handing your collection to the archive you will be giving us permission to use the material for several purposes. For example, in 2016 many of the photographs in the archive were utilized in an exhibition celebrating 175 years of Jewish life in South Africa.

Who will be interested in my collection?

The archive is regularly approached by researchers, historians, filmmakers and publishers wanting to make use of photographs for their creative projects, theses or publications. If you would not like to allow use of your material, please make note of this on your release form.

Will my material be used on other online platforms?

Yes. With your permission, your involvement in this project means that the material you donate may appear on the museum’s social media.

How do I share my collection?

You will be able to share the link to our website containing your collection which can be distributed to family and friends!