Sunday, June 24, 2018

Archives must be updated

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Both President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have stressed the importance of International Archives Day 2018. The reasons are of course palpable. Every nation owes it to itself and to those who have played pivotal roles in the making of its history an arduous responsibility of preserving such history in different formats and forms.

These post-modern times being pretty demanding, it is essential that all documents, images, videos and documentaries relating to different facets of a nation's history be preserved in a manner that will enable researchers and everyone else to have their pulse on the heritage they would like to explore.

In this context, we might point out the fact that in Bangladesh it is not an easy task for researchers and students to come by the materials they require for purposes of intellectual study. One reason why that happens to be the case is the absence of a proper mechanism which can preserve important documents and other materials relating to history and heritage.

But with a policy of digitalization gaining importance in Bangladesh, it is of essence that information technology be absolutely focused on in the country.

The National Archives should be given a dash of modernity through the availability of such information-based technology as is available on computers and other devices. A similar condition needs to be brought in to transform the entire archival system where the government is concerned.

Apart from what the government needs to do --- and it can do a lot, especially in towns and cities outside the nation's capital --- there are other organizations, such as NGOs, academic institutions, cultural centers and media organizations which must gear up efforts to preserve data and information through constantly updating them.

Let the theme of this year's International Archives Day --- governance, memory and heritage --- be given the seriousness it calls for.

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