An Anthology of Faith-Based Collections’ Writings: Tracking the Genealogy of Scholarship on This Genre of Archives




manuscripts, archives, archival administration, scholarship, Faith-based collections


Faith-based collections, also known as religious archives, church archives or archives of faith traditions, have paradoxically not received attention in mainstream archives. However, they permeate every facet of human endeavour. This could be attributed to this genre of archives as they are relatively unknown; there is a lack of general interest, maybe because of the small volume of archives generated from their parent churches or ministries, which renders them insignificant. Consequently, a definitive and authoritative text on faith-based collections has remained a pipe dream in the records and archives discipline, a global challenge. This paper explores the breadth of the writings to inform the global archival community so that scholars and archivists can contribute in this regard, thereby bridging this literary gap in our archival historiography. Faith-based collections, as they relate primarily to manuscripts of evangelists, are an under-researched area in Archival Science. Using secondary sources like books and reports and empirical works in journals, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and so on, this paper provides a historical insight and timeline that highlights the trajectory of the scholarship on faith-based collections. While this article highlighted the scholarship on faith-based archives, it also contributed to managing manuscripts by evangelists/pastors in African Independent Churches (AICS) and mainstream churches. It offered insight into the emerging literature on faith-based collections and how this is scattered over various sources.


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Author Biography

Takatso Nawe, National Archives and Records Service of South Africa

Takatso Nawe, is a Historian and passionate Archivist. She holds an undergraduate degree; Bachelor of Arts International Studies (2015) majoring in History and Politics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Records and Archives Management (2016) both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus. Previous work experience is voluntary work as an Assistant Archivist (2016) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Archives. She then worked at eThekwini Municipality – International Relations and Governance as Graduate (Clerk) from February 2018 to September 2019. She is presently an Archivist: Reading Room at the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (NARSSA), based in Pretoria. She is responsible for giving access to public and non-public records and overall supervision of the Reading Area. Professional interests lie mainly in records management, preservation and conservation. She is studying towards a Masters of Information Studies with the University of KwaZulu-Natal focusing on faith-based collections. The title of her abstract: Managing official and private correspondences and collections of evangelists for ethical access: the case of Michael Cassidy and African Enterprise in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa is an extraction from her Masters work under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Francis Garaba.


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How to Cite

Nawe, Takatso, and Francis Garaba. 2024. “An Anthology of Faith-Based Collections’ Writings: Tracking the Genealogy of Scholarship on This Genre of Archives”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 50 (1):11 pages.



Received 2024-02-21
Accepted 2024-03-14
Published 2024-04-16