Our archival information, which dates back to the late 1880s, is obtained from the extensive Archives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). The documentation includes congregation minute books; collections of correspondence; and the reports of the country community rabbis. Extensive use is made of the news-cutting collections, and of pertinent biographies, journals and periodicals housed in the SAJBD Archives, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) Library and the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at UCT.
Reference books used include, among others, the following: the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Who’s Who journals, Where Once We Walked and a variety of biographical and other dictionaries. In constructing our database of Jewish residents, old telephone and trade directories have also proved essential.
Besides this, live and telephonic interviews have been conducted with former residents in the country areas or their descendants. Personal information questionnaires have been and continue to be completed as part of the research. We also use various websites to verify our findings.
The photographic record of Jewish life in the country areas of South Africa which we have assembled over many years now amounts to a sizeable collection. While some photos have been sourced from SAJBD and SAZF archives, many have been supplied by private individuals. All the photographs used as backdrops on this website have been procured from this photographic archive.