Archive of Kindness by Jess Auerbach (Softcover)


In a country gripped by the Covid–19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, fear, loss and uncertainty were felt in all corners and by all. But, even in our darkest days, stories of immeasurable kindness emerged: of a woman reading to her neighbour’s child through the fence; of a gardener who checked up on an old lady living alone on a farm and tended to her flowers; of a nurse who fed Weetabix to a dying man until the day he passed away, and of a man who gave his Wi-Fi password to his whole neighbourhood.

There are countless examples of micro-kindnesses which, though small, had a big impact on their recipients.

Archive of Kindness documents these and many other stories collected by Jess Auerbach and her students at North-West University. The book will act as a reminder of a difficult time in world history and how people living in South Africa lightened the load for others less fortunate. We hope that this book will be a lasting testament to the goodwill inherent in our young and fragile nation and a reminder to always be kind.

To page through a sample of this beautiful book, click here.

You can find the ebook on all major online platforms.  For international shipping please contact for a quote.

In stock


New book highlights everyday
kindness in South Africa

BK Publishing and author Jess Auerbach are proud to announce the launch of her new book Archive of Kindness, ‘Stories of everyday heroism during the South African lockdown’.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, Jess Auerbach, a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of North West, observed an outpouring of support between ordinary residents in South Africa. She began to document these ‘micro-kindnesses’ as an assignment for her students and created a website to record them. Her website, Archive of Kindness, received significant international and local attention and ultimately recorded approximately 2000 stories of remarkable kindness and care.

Becoming a book

In January 2021, BK Publishing and Auerbach teamed up to turn the Archive of Kindness into an exciting and accessible book to help boost the national mood and inspire hope in the future of our country. A selection of stories from the Archive of Kindness website were selected by prominent Southern Africans and representatives from the Community Action Networks, who played an important role in the national response to the virus. This selection of stories is recorded in a beautiful coffee table book that has been illustrated by rising artist and recent graduate of the Ruth Prowse School of Art, Jethro Longwe.

The publisher and author hope that this book will be a lasting testament to the goodwill inherent in our young and fragile nation and an inspiration to ordinary South Africans to continue with heroic acts of small kindnesses.

Spreading the love

A portion of the profits from the sale of books and prints of the artworks will be donated by Jess and Jethro to the Materials Fund at the Ruth Prowse School of Art as well as to other worthy causes.

Praise for Archive of Kindness

“A timely book which reminds us that the fabric of our society is woven not only by grand narratives of hardship, suffering and triumph, but also by millions of unreported, sustained acts of kindness that are enacted in ordinary encounters.”
Prof Malebogo Ngoepe, UCT

“The positive stories replenish my faith, love and hope. I keep Archive ofKindness next to my bed and read a few stories before I go to sleep.”
Paul H. Sutherland, founder of Utopia Foundation


Author: Dr Jess Auerbach
ISBN: 978-0-620-93801-3
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: Adult; Young Adult
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop