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

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Access and use of the illustrations’ (pictorial) collection at the national archives of Zimbabwe

Rudo Karadzandima


The main focus of the article is to analyze the accessibility and usage of the pictorial collection at National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ). The article defines the concepts of access and use of the pictorial collection and their applicability as historical sources of information in the archives. The pictorial unit has a mandate of selecting, preserving and making available images and prints for the public usage. Regulations at times impose a burden on archival services and prevent information from being as widely available to researchers as possible. This is contrary to the current trend and policy approaches to make public information more accessible. According to Forde (2000) “we have moved away from the concept of the archivist as the dragon at the gate repelling all attempts to access information in case the documents might be damaged”. Use of archival collections should be granted to the public as without use the whole purpose of acquiring, preserving and providing access will be defeated.

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