Frequently Asked Questions


Process for extracting information from scanned files to SAHRIS


Overview: The archives kept by SAHRA and various other heritage authorities date back as far as 1911. Most of these paper-based records are kept at the SAHRA Registry in Cape Town. SAHRA is currently scanning these files into PDF form and uploading them to the 'Digital Registry/Scanned Files' Content type on SAHRIS. 

The second phase of this digitisation initiative is to extract the content of these PDFs into the correct content types on SAHRIS such as 'sites', 'heritage cases', 'permits' and so forth. This tutorial covers the workflow and some do's and don't's for extracting these files.

PERMIT Related Content:

All Permits require a Heritage Case/Application on SAHRIS as the container for the transactions. 

1. Check whether a case exists for the permit you would like to add to the archive.
2. Create the Case/Application and BACKDATE the case to at least the starting date of the permit or earlier if you are able to determine when the case was initiated. 
3. Set the case status to CLOSED/APPROVED.
4. Right click on the hyperlink 'Permits' just below the case name, choose 'Open in New Tab'.  This will open up the new permit creation page and will leave the case open on the original tab so that you can refer back to it if need be.
5. Copy and paste the text of the CONDITIONS section to the conditions Memo Field on the Permit. Choose the relevant authority, backdate the permit according to the one you have digitised and choose the permit holder etc. Upload the pdf of the original permit to the permit on SAHRIS. 
6. All permits require a SITE or SITE(s). These are normally entered by the applicants but for archival processing it is unlikely that they are already on SAHRIS. You will therefore have to create them on SAHRIS in order to complete the details of the case and the permits. Go to CREATE - SITES and complete the base site information and use the codes specified in the application. The Create new site recording link (on the top right when viewing the site) will take you to another page where more specific information about the site can be filled in including photos. 
7. Once you have entered the site(s), you can complete your permit and case by linking the SITEREF codes to the permit in the relevant field for the site(s) and under Inventory Links on the Case. It is important to do both since the permit does not necessarily involve all the sites involved in the case.   

EMAILS & Letter Related Content:

The email correspondence between the heritage officers, the applicants and the committee members is often intermingled with the cases on the file. These should be extracted from the scanned PDF and saved separately to CASE TRACKING (similarly created via the hyperlink below the case name). Do not copy and paste the text of the enquiry - simply write 'see attached' and upload the pdf to the case tracking log.

Most letters can simply be attached to Additionaldocs on the case, but if the letter is more of a personal nature then upload it to case tracking.

CASE DECISIONS (Often filed as Review Comments):

The comments and decisions made by the heritage officers must be captured as Case Decisions (click on the hyperlink below the case name). The text of the comment/decision is pasted into the discussion and decision sections and the original pdf is uploaded to the decision. Don't forget backdate the decision and to publish the decision once you have completed it. 


In many cases there will be a heritage report already on SAHRIS but not a CASE. Once you have completed the case, link it to the heritage report if this exists in the heritage report field. This also serves to link the MAPS created as part of the GIS Report Mapping Project by Steven Walker and Mary Leslie which concluded in 2009 from the reports to the cases. You do not need to re-map the heritage cases if the old reports have already been mapped.
If, however, you had to create an archive case and the heritage report was not mapped, please attempt to map the CASE, not the old report.
For archive cases created as part of the back capture of PERMITS, note that the location information is already available from the SITES. You do not need to map the cases if they are linked to inventory links. If the permits are originally part of a development application, the case types must reflect the multi-components of the case and it will be useful to additionally map the development area as part of the case (unless the map is already done in the heritage report of course).



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