About the Namibia Digital Repository
Welcome to the Namibia Digital Repository. Over the past ten years or so, a large number of Namibia digital resources have popped up on the web, each generally affiliated with an NGO or research institute. These provide valuable digital materials for Namibians and researchers of Namibia who find difficulty accessing these materials in hard-copy form.
These web sites, however, are scattered, and bandwith issues can cause problems. In addition, if one of these sites goes down or relocates, effects can reverberate to all other web sites linking out to the material.
This Digital Repository is a twofold endeavor. First, existing digital materials on the web are accumulated into this Omeka interface, properly attributing metadata and providing an alternative location to download the files. Second, digitization efforts are underway to bring hard-copy library materials (books, reports, films, dissertations) into digital form. A large number of films have already been digitized, and over the next year, more audio and print materials will follow (see collections for existing entries).
In the near future, I hope to open up the site to other researchers, NGO representatives, activists, etc., to upload and catalog their own materials (films, photographs, fieldnotes, books, and others). This is still a work in progress, and progress is being made.
A Note on Copyright and access:
Many of these materials are farmed from existing digital resources; proper attribution and links to the original URLs are provided. For the digitized resources, permission has either been granted to place the materials on the Web, or else the original author is no longer reachable. Some, regretably, have passed away. For any questions or concerns, or if you think something should be removed, please contact me (see below).
I am a historian (in-training) of 20th Century Namibia. My training is largely in economic and labour history, with a strong focus on human-environment relations.
I'm currently researching the history of Southern Namibia (today's Hardap & ǁKaras Regions) in the 20th Century under South African colonialism and apartheid. My work explores the development of the commercial sheep industry in the region, noting particularly the ways white farmers addressed questions of labour insecurity and questions of environmental feasibility. In the arid southern regions of Namibia, genocide and Nama withdrawal from waged labour relations complicated issues of labour hire, and farmers were constantly facing shortages. Furthermore, farmers depended upon the state to assist in making their farms for ecologically sustainable. This included the drilling of boreholes, building of windmills, and crucially, the erection of vermin-proof fencing. My study shows that jackal-proofing serves as a point of confluence between questions of environmental feasibility (jackals were a major problem in these districts, and strategies to avoid predation had wide ranging effects), and questions of labour security (jackal-proofing drastically reduced the need for wage labourers to serve as shepherds). My study also engages with the history of dogs, Karakul sheep, and game farming. I also explore the history of knowledge transfer about vermin eradication strategies, noting the role of members of the United States Fish & Wildlife Services and their efforts to spread the M44 "Coyote Getter" technology into South Africa & Namibia (Afrikaans: gifskieter). A draft paper, recently presented at the Northeastern Workshop on Southern Africa (not for citation), is available here.
I have previously conducted oral history research on the international dimensions of the Namibian anti-apartheid struggle, resulting in a documentary film produced for Namibian television, titled From Windhoek to Washington: An Oral History of the Struggle for Namibian Independence. The film can be viewed [here]. Some of the interviews with Namibian, American, and Finnish leaders were integrated into a seminar paper for Michigan State University, available [here].
I am the editor and a contributor for a column in The Namibian newspaper, titled "Know the History" and published once every third week. The column seeks to bring academic knowledge back to Namibians in accessible, yet informed prose. Both domestic and international historians and social scientists have contributed articles on lesser-known, but crucial aspects of Namibian history and culture. You can read more about it here, and those interested in contributing an article can reach out to me via email.
My final research interest, which informs most of the projects above is Marxian theory. A long-term project of mine is exploring applications of Marxian theories of "Primitive" (Ursprüngliche) Accumulation in African and African diasporic contexts.
You can reach out to me at: bernardcmoore -- at -- gmail.com or at +1 516 850 4418 or +264 81 613 3538.