Senior researcher, curator of SU museum honoured

Professor Matilda Burden

Professor Matilda Burden of the Stellenbosch University Museum was recently honoured with two awards: in October 2018, she received an honorary award from the e’Bosch Heritage Project of Stellenbosch; and, on February 15, her alma mater, Outeniqua High in George, honoured her in the same way.

Both awards are for recognition of her outstanding contribution to the advancement and conservation of South African culture and heritage, and for her leading role in numerous cultural and conservation organisations and on provincial and national statutory councils.

Professor Burden is senior researcher and curator of cultural history at the SU Museum.

In addition to managing exhibitions and research at the museum, she is also the presenter of short courses for museum staff, municipal officials, members of conservation organisations and members of the public.

Topics include heritage conservation, museum studies and architectural styles.

The SU Museum is, in fact, the only museum in South Africa that provides training in museum studies in this way.

Professor Burden is also a sought-after speaker, who is asked to present lectures and talks right across South Africa. According to Professor Burden, she has “designed and equipped several new museums, especially for previously marginalised communities, which forms part of the SU Museum’s outreach actions to various communities”.

Professor Burden’s contributions for which the awards were made, include serving on societies and boards, such as chairperson of the South African Society for Cultural History, chairperson of the Western Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee, vice-president of the International Folksong Society, the Western Cape Cultural Commission, the Council of Heritage Western Cape and the South African Geographical Names Council.

The e’Bosch award was presented last October, on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition100 Artefacts for 100 Years researched and installed by Professor Burden.

The Outeniqua High award was presented on March 15, at a special event at the school, which concluded with a tree planting ceremony. Professor Burden has previously been honoured with three other awards.

The museum is open from Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 4.30pm, and on Saturdays from 8am to 12.30pm. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Entry is free.

Contact Ricky Brecht at 021 808 3660 or

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