Records management centre marks International Archives Day with open day | 12 June 2019
The Seychelles National Archives’ records management centre, located at Providence, hosted an open day on Monday to commemorate the International Archives Day.
International Archives Day (IAD) is celebrated on June 9 each year and this year’s theme is ‘Designing the Archives in the 21st Century’.
During the open day, the public were able to discover the day-to-day activities of staff at the record management centre.
Although most people are not familiar with it, the record centre houses records and documents from various ministries, government agencies and parastatal bodies.
National Youth Service (NYS) records and documents from the department of public administration are among some of the items kept at the resource centre.
These documents are saved for a period of 30 years after which they are either considered for destruction or for further preservation, depending on their historical value, by a committee.
It is important to note that these documents continue to remain the property of the entity or body which has sent them over for sorting and storage.
It is only after the gestational period of 30 years that the documents become the property of the National Archives.
In his speech during the opening ceremony on Monday, the director of the National Archives, Alain Lucas, said that IAD 2019’s theme speaks volumes on how the International Council on Archives (ICA) views the future of archives management.
“It has become clear that with the evolution in technological advancement taking place worldwide, archives need to keep pace with new development. As such the need to modernise has become paramount if we are going to keep abreast of new technologies being utilised in archives the world over.”
Moving from manual techniques of archiving to a more streamline technological approach is one of Mr Lucas’ goals for the national archives.
He also noted that the records management centre is taking steps in ensuring better quality services to its clients and, chief among those, is improving its liaison with the entities that provide them with records for storage.
“As records start with them, it is imperative that they become the first custodians of these records until they come under our care,” Mr Lucas remarked.
Another step being taken is the complete inventory of all the records at the centre, in line with the National Archives’ aim to digitise its resources.
Although faced with various challenges such as low budget allocation and difficulty in gaining staff that are qualified in archiving, Mr Lucas notes that he remains optimistic for the future of the National Archives.
The accompanying photographs show members of the public visiting the records management centre during the open day.