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Religious archives in the East and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ESARBICA) region: their importance and the need for a national framework
This article discusses the need for private archives to be legislated like their counterparts the public archives. It focuses on the genre of religious archives which constitutes non-governmental or private archives, a field that has been given less attention in archival discourse. Why religious organizations have not been given due attention could be because of the inherent complexities in their work internal processes. Despite this, it is the thesis of this article that archival legislation should be reviewed and modernised for this record to be managed at national level in view of the fact that so much human activity is recorded in the archives of our religious institutions and communities and other related bodies. The article reviews the literature on private archives with particular emphasis on religious archives and analyse the archival legislations of some countries within ESARBICA in an effort to ascertain whether some sections are sympathetic to private records, the religious record being one in many. The findings paint a gloomy picture for private records as the legislation in place is archaic and not accommodative of this record which means this Christian heritage is on the abyss of disintegration hence the urgent need for it to be legislated for the benefit of posterity.