Vernacular Architecture

People and Places of the Piketberg region / Mense en plekke van die Piketberg-kontrei

In 2012 the Vernacular Architecture Society asked the Tracing History Trust to apply to the National Heritage Council of South Africa for funding for an oral history project in the rural Sandveld region of the Western Cape. We were fortunate to be awarded some money. The Sandveld Project team started work on farms near Piketberg in October 2013 and fieldwork was completed in June 2014.

The aim of the project was to make an audio-visual record of the stories of families associated with Southern Sandveld farms and settlements, to identify and record the built environment and cultural landscape, and to carry out archival research related to tracing the past history of these families and places. A secondary intention was to collate information into a collection of resources for future work in the region.

The results of intensive fieldwork and some preliminary processing of information during this phase is therefore only a beginning. This project is still a work in progress with much future potential. An interim exhibition of the people and places we visited was hosted by the Piketberg Museum during 2015 and 2016.

For further information and the exhibition material, see

Outsiders Within

Outsiders Within

The Trust has been awarded funding from the National Heritage Council of South Africa for an exciting new project associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strand Street, Cape Town.

The Church archives – documents, images, objects – and architectural heritage are undergoing systematic assessment, cataloguing and interpretation.

his inventory-making phase is a precursor to conservation management planning, decisions on how best to make the material accessible and available to members of the congregation and to researchers, and further funding applications.

Read more about the project and register your interest at

Borg 'n Boek

Borg 'n Boek

With the completion of the TEPCproject in 2007 the Tracing History Trust embarked on a fundraising campaign to fund the transcription and editing of the volumes that still remained from the TEPC project.

Through a generous donation from Cordis Trust in 2009 the Tracing History trust was able to assemble the team who worked on the TEPC project to transcribe and edit some of the missing years from volume NA12646.

In 2010 the Tracing History Trust set out to raise funds for a second photography project to the Netherlands. The project would involve a local photographer to travel to the Nationaal Archief Den Haag to photograph volumes of the 'Dagregisters' that were missing from the Cape Archives.

Through two very generous donations from Cordis Trust and ZAZM (Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorwegmaatschappij, Zuid-Afrikahuis, Amsterdam) this project was made possible and in April 2010 the photographer left for the Netherlands returning with over 2500 images making up more than 10 years of 'Dagregisters' of the Cape!

In June 2010 the Van Ewijck Foundation made a donation which enabled the Tracing History Trust to transcribe and edit the whole volume NA12647 which was part of the volumes photographed in the Netherlands in 2007. In March 2011 the Van Ewijck Institution made a second generous donation with which the trust has started transcription and editing of volume NA12647.

A full description of the 'Borg ‘n Boek' Project can be downloaded in Afrikaans (PDF format) by clicking here.

Tracing History Trust


The Tracing History Trust was established in 2008 with the main objective of continuing the work started during two major transcription projects executed in the Cape Archives from 2001 until 2008, namely TANAP and TEPC, followed by the VOC-Daghregister Transcription Project (2016-2020).

As the Trust functions as a non-profit and public benefit organisation, it is totally dependent on external funding to render a professional service of high quality. The Trust is dependent on external providers to host online and public dissemination of the products of the projects, such as national archives, academic and research institutions.

Read more about the Trust’s projects by clicking here.