PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Access to Archives at the National Archives of Namibia

Cathrine T Nengomasha, Erasmus H Nyanga

Abstract


This article is based on findings of a study of the National Archives of Namibia conducted in 2015. The study investigated the terms and conditions that guide access at the National Archives of Namibia. The study also investigated how the National Archives of Namibia has conformed to the ICA Code of Ethics and The Universal Declaration on Archives as regards access to archives. The population of the study comprised researchers and members of staff the National Archives of Namibia. Data collection method used was face to face interviews. The findings revealed that the National Archives of Namibia did not have a programme to promote its activities and was not fully taking advantage of information technologies and social media to promote access to its collections. Backlogs in arrangement and description; a lengthy closure period of 30 years; and failure to clearly interpret issues of sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy were some of the challenges to administering access by the National Archives. The authors present a number of recommendations which include development of clear guidelines on the sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy; revision of the National Archives Act to reduce the closure period and the use of ICTs and social media to promote access to archival collections.

This article is based on findings of a study of the National Archives of Namibia conducted in 2015. The study investigated the terms and conditions that guide access at the National Archives of Namibia. The study also investigated how the National Archives of Namibia has conformed to the ICA Code of Ethics and The Universal Declaration on Archives as regards access to archives. The population of the study comprised researchers and members of staff the National Archives of Namibia. Data collection method used was face to face interviews. The findings revealed that the National Archives of Namibia did not have a programme to promote its activities and was not fully taking advantage of information technologies and social media to promote access to its collections. Backlogs in arrangement and description; a lengthy closure period of 30 years; and failure to clearly interpret issues of sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy were some of the challenges to administering access by the National Archives. The authors present a number of recommendations which include development of clear guidelines on the sensitivity, confidentiality and privacy; revision of the National Archives Act to reduce the closure period and the use of ICTs and social media to promote access to archival collections.




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