Culture Ministry to digitize national archives – includes video

Culture Ministry to digitize national archives

MAY 10, 2013 | BY  |

The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport is now moving towards making all information available in the national archives become technologically accessible. This was revealed during a launching ceremony held at the Walter Rodney Archives on Wednesday last. These documents will be digitised and microfilmed.

Robin Singh of DEV Info-Tech Simplified has been contracted by the Ministry to put the project together.
During the launch, Culture Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, and Permanent Secretary, Alfred King, were given a demonstration of how the online programme will work.    

Robin Singh (centre) demonstrates to Minister Anthony, and Permanent Secretary Alfred King, how the programme will work.

And because the occasion of Indian Arrival was recently celebrated, the project will start off with information on Indian Indentured Labourers.
The Ministry, along with staffers of the National Archives, is hoping that the database project will put less strain on the already fragile records. Some of these hardcopy records have deteriorated over the years, despite being housed in suitable conditions. But, with the digital version, the information can be easily stored and put on back up files. It can also be easily duplicated.
The employees of the National Archives anticipate that this move will assist with the space constraints for storage of these records. This project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Kaieteur News understands that the project which is being done in phases is being funded by UNESCO.
This project is also being done to assist historians in their work, especially in the case of old newspapers.
It will include the National Archives, the Daily Chronicle from 1819 to current (while it carried the same name it was not the same newspaper for the whole of that period) along with the Evening Post 1958-1973, the Daily Argosy 1880-1889, Royal Gazette 1816-1889, The Creole 1856-1882, The Colonist 1851-1883 and the Guyana Graphic 1946-1970.
The National Archives, which falls under the Culture Ministry, also houses many government records.
While the national archive is somewhat like a library, it is mostly used by professional researchers, and those seeking to find information on their ancestors, particularly the Indian Immigrants.

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  • francis jackson  On May 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

    what about the Africans, Portugese, Amerindians? et. al.

  • Deen  On May 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Finally! This is great news! I know for sometime there were many Guyanese and organizations that have been urging the Government of Guyana to get this done… to have the indentured records digitized and made available to the public. Especially, since there were many concerns about the care and condition of these records.
    Easy electronic access to this information, especially for all Guyanese at home and abroad who want trace their roots will be excited with this development.
    In addition this, I suggest the Guyanese government also make more effort to add all available information of other Guyanese nationalities to make this a more elaborate database for all Guyanese.
    Based on the sad history that sugar plantation workers in Guyana were brought as slaves and there are no documented records as the indentured immigrants, it’s unfortunate that Afro-Guyanese are unable to trace their roots. However, efforts should be made to incorporate their history in Guyana.
    Also, it’s unfortunate that during colonial times of schooling, much was taught about British history and nothing about the plantation history in Guyana. Perhaps much of this ugly history is still discreetly suppressed in Guyanese education.

  • pat  On May 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I hope I would be able to get information about my great great grand parents when this project is up and running and I also hope that they incorporate information from the churches and hospitals which kept recods of births and deaths.

  • Bidesh ramprasad  On July 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    This is amazing. I am applying for a pio card .i had to pay a guyanese lawyer
    $5000.00 Canadian just to get some papers and I am not sure if they are realtor fake.

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