National Archives is under-resourced -historian





Historian Dr Melissa Ifill says important archival materials are no longer being presented to the National Archives due to a lack of confidence in the institution’s ability to preserve records, and that a lack of funding and adequate staffing has affected the res-toration work of the archives.

In a passionate lecture on Friday in observance of Archives Week, Ifill said the relevant authorities seem to lack an understanding of how critical the preservation of records are, particularly its impact on future generations. She said the state of records at some public institutions in the country point to critical information being dumped in bins and crammed together in rooms among other unfortunate situations. According to her, certain records of significance to Guyana are now being protected overseas in countries such as the US and the UK, beyond the reach of the average Guyanese researcher.

Prior to her lecture, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony disclosed on Wednesday that plans are underway to procure copies of archival materials currently in the possession of overseas entities, including those in the British and Dutch Archives. At the time, he was addressing a National Archives workshop. He said too that a comprehensive collection is lacking, adding that the institution will move forward when there is a broader collection of records.

Ifill struck a chord within the small audience gathered and as she spoke a few persons were heard agreeing with her. The Minister of Culture and the Director of Culture, Dr James Rose both were absent from the lecture owing to other engagements.



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