Home > The Robert Jacob Gordon Transcripts Online Collection
The Robert Jacob Gordon Transcripts Online Collection
3 Nov 2016 - 14:45
UCT Digital Library Services is proud to have assisted with maintaining access to The Robert Jacob Gordon journal transcripts. This recently orphaned online archive comprises of transcriptions and translations from one of South Africa's early European explorer's journals, and was extensively used over the years by researchers worldwide. Now, it presents the latest collection to be made accessible through the UCT Libraries Digital Collections Repository.
The journals, which were originally written in Dutch, are made available in both the original Dutch transcriptions, as well as English translations, and provide valuable insight into the natural history, geography, people and possible economic value of the places he visited at the time.
In the words of Andrew Smith (1990), Gordon's "abilities to see South Africa’s geography, natural history and people with a clear eye, unhindered by contemporary 18th century ideas and prejudices, is all too apparent to the reader of his journal."
The transcripts were originally hosted on UCT’s Department of Archaeology’s website, but had become orphaned during a recent, institution-wide web migration. DLS assisted with digitally curating and migrating the collection, ensuring the digital preservation of - and continued public online access to - these early insights into South African history and landscape. Their research value is extensive, and we hope that their renewed accessibility can serve to inform future research projects in and about South Africa.