23 November 2012

Zambia: Continue Funding Archives Digital Project - Scott

VICE-President Guy Scott has appealed to the Finnish government to continue funding the digitisation programme at the National Archives of Zambia.

The Finnish government is supporting the digitisation project of placing historical records electronically but was expected to wind down support by June next year.

Currently the department is digitising the TIMES OF ZAMBIA Newspapers from 1964 to 1991 and so far, it had digitised the district notebooks from 1896 to 1964.

Others are British South African Company collection from 1896 to 1924, photographs from 1920 to 1994, maps from 1600 to 1990, stamps (colonial) to 2004 and the Mutende Newspaper 1936 to 1958.

Dr Scott said the digitisation of the historical records at the department of National Archives was needed for preservation of the country's rich history.

The vice-president who was accompanied by his senior private secretary Robert Kamalata, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Nixon Chilangwa, Permanent Secretary Maxwell Nkole and other officials, was speaking when he toured the National Archives of Zambia in Lusaka yesterday.

"I want to encourage the Finnish government not to pull out because I know some donors always want to only stay for about three years then they go. We need to keep this programme going to put records for easier research," he said.

He was impressed with the National Achieves of Zambia staff for embarking on an ambitious programme to digitise most of the country's historical records.

Among other areas he inspected were, the digitisation project room and main library.

Dr Scott addressed workers at the department and urged them to continue working hard.

He extended his tour to the Registrar of Societies where he inspected the institution and storage of various books and records by Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki.

National Archives of Zambia director Chileshe Musukuma said the information contained in the archives was derived from official documents generated by various stakeholders before and after independence.

She assured Dr Scott that her staff would continue to ensure national historical records were secured.

Ms Musukuma said the Government was currently reviewing the law to enable the department collect records for digitisation.

The department exists for the control and custody of public archives and records of Government, State corporations, missions abroad and individuals, preservation of books, manuscripts, maps, and pictorial matters relating to Zambia.

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