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Migrated archives time for closure to turn the wheels of reconciliation and healing for Africa

Francis Garaba


In a paper on migrated archives, Nathan Mnjama puts forward several reasons as to why these archives are in the custody of our former colonisers. Infrastructural challenges, the lack of the development of archival services and security issues are some of the reasons highlighted. Consequently, these archives were not collected and preserved within colonies and were thus repatriated to the metropolitan countries for safe storage. The removal of these archives have created gaps in archival holdings and these archives need to be located, retrieved and brought home, so he argues. The author of this response proposes that we need to start afresh and forget about this genre of archives in view of the protracted issues involved and considering the archival service challenges that most archival institutions are facing. We are now talking about de-colonisation/refiguring or Africanisation of our archives because there is over-documentation of the colonial record in our repositories and these records are often biased or incorrect.

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print ISSN: 1012-2796