People Are the Real Archives

During the PARBICA 14 Conference in Apia, Samoa, one of the guest speakers, was Mr. Tunumafono Apelu Afemata Aiavo (Author, Samoan Chief and Editor) who gave the participants a very inspirational speech. His imaginative words about archives and archivists truly sums up the intent and need of the profession. I share it here:

The spoken word is our first library.  Language is our identity; lose your language and you lose your identity.  Verbal archives can be heard in the speech of the Elders, in the laughter of children, in our songs and poetry.  Poetry is an archive.  Virtual archives stem from our imagination, our creative mind;  we can share this in one form or another.  Archivists must ensure that our hard copies live on, as well as the digital copies on our flashdrives.  The function of the archivist is to preserve knowledge and keep it for posterity. People are the real archive.

A Samoan faletele, or meeting house

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About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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