This article was initially presented in November 2007 at the Heritage Summit held by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy for Science and Art) in Bloemfontein. This meeting was held in response to the internal policy changes at the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre (NALN). This article addresses the particularism
of ethnic Afrikaans cultural identity and the commonality of an evolving national identity. Without denying the experience of particularism, the article argues that institutions like NALN should be developed as part of an overarching,
decentralised South African literary museum where South African commonality is recognised and fostered. An underlying question in the article is: How do we create institutons that allow us to overcome our colonial and apartheid past?