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Current Awareness 2021: April

Up-to-date topics of interest to researchers

What is current awareness

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research.

Website of the month

Logo of South African History Online

South African History Online: towards a people's history

SAHO has become the largest and most comprehensive online website on South African and African history and culture.

SAHO is a unique history project – its website, the organisation’s flagship project, is linked to a partnership programme with universities, community-based history projects, and the educational and the cultural department of government.

SAHO's mission 

SAHO's mission is to write a new history which would break the silence on our past and to address the biased way in which the historical and cultural heritage of South Africa and the continent has been represented in our educational and cultural institutions.

SAHO has committed itself to building, a non-partisan, peoples history project in partnerships with academic, heritage and community groups in South Africa and from the rest of the African continent.  

SAHO website

Further reading


About the monthly awareness page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

Selected noteworthy days in April

image of Nelson Mandela casting his vote in the 1994 elections





Freedom Month

The Freedom Month celebrations offer us an opportunity to reflect on progress made thus far in transforming our society, while also examining our challenges. The month celebrates freedom and commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid non-racial elections that were held on April 27th 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela elected as President.

Since 1994, we have moved from an oppressive society to one which values human rights for all through advancing human development and restoring human dignity. 

Our vibrant democracy is anchored by the constitution which guarantees equal rights for all.

Events | South African Government (



27 April 1994

Embed from Getty Images

Other noteworthy events

World Book and Copyright Day 2021

23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors including William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. This date was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books - the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of space and time, as well as one of the most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building.

World Book and Copyright Day (link is external) is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognise the magical power of books - a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. On this occasion, UNESCO  joined up with the international organisations that represent the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries.

World Book and Copyright Day 2021 | South African Government (

World veterinary day logo

World Veterinarian Day was created in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association (link is external) to highlight and promote the lifesaving work performed by veterinarians around the globe. Each year, a different theme is chosen which helps pet owners to remember the importance of various aspects of animal care, and how vets can help, for example, ensuring your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.

In the media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:






Looking for upcoming conferences?

If you are looking for forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden oldies


image of newspaper artile entitled All The President's Men
All the President's Men / Michael Hamlyn

Now the election is over, the focus in the new South Africa is on the men and women who will make up Nelson Mandela's government. Michael Hamlyn outlines the key players.

Date: Saturday,  Apr. 30, 1994

Publication: The Times (London, England) Issue: 64942

Article titled The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa / John Hatchard

Journal of African Law

Vol. 38, No. 1 (1994), pp. 70-77 (8 pages)

Published By: School of Oriental and African Studies

Article titled Building Democracy in the New South Africa: Civil Society, Citizenship and Political Ideology

Building Democracy in the New South Africa: Civil Society, Citizenship and Political Ideology / Mark Orkin

Review of African Political Economy

Vol. 22, No. 66 (Dec., 1995), pp. 525-537 (13 pages)

Published By: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.