The “Preserving and Processing of the Public Records Project” at the Tuvalu National Library and Archives got off to a good start. I did not realize that most of the records that we would be working on were being kept in 25 foot container. When one opens the container door, it looks to be a daunting task. But, I have seen it all before. With time, patience and training, there is no reason that these records will become accessible in the near future.
There are a few outcomes from the project that will be very sustainable in the future after the ending of the project. In fact, the project is constructed to ensure that sustainability will continue long after the initial project date. Although ICAS loves to help and do the work of the project, we know how imperative it is for the host organization to continue the good work once ICAS has left. This is why that the training of staff is written within most ICAS projects.
For the Public Records Collection Project at the Tuvalu National Library and Archives there will be training for staff of the three most basic, yet, most important archival functions. These functions include: appraising, processing and preserving records. As I have mentioned before, Tuvalu is an isolated island nation. It is very difficult for staff to get training. Some information regarding these core archival functions can be found on the Internet, but the wireless connection in Tuvalu can be slow, expensive, or unpredictable. Thus, one-on-one training will be invaluable. I also like the idea that, once staff is trained, they in-turn will be able to train new staff and volunteers. This “passing down the knowledge” works quite well in the Pacific Islands. After the project, the staff will be able to apply their knowledge towards other new or old collections.
I will provide a full report in time and will place it on our Website. Stay tuned.
The past couple of days the island has been hit with torrential rains slowing our processing process. But, after a full days work on a nice day, here’s a great spot to go and relax…