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.