The key to unlocking Brunei’s past
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE National Archives of Brunei Darussalam has played an important role in preserving the nation’s culture, arts, history and information since its establishment in 1977.
The National Archives also provides information to the public and raises awareness on the need to preserve archives and providing the public access to them.
This year, Brunei will be joining 199 countries in celebrating International Archives Day with several activities lined up.
Celebrated annually on June 9, this year’s celebration carries the theme ‘Archives, Harmony and Friendship’.
The celebration provides an opportunity for archivists to promote the importance of effective management and preservation of records and archives which constitute the memories of all nations and societies.
Documents less than 25 years old are called records whereas those that are older are called archives.
Acting Head of the National Archives of Brunei Darussalam Hj Mohammad Jefri Hj Sabli said Brunei has its own theme for the celebration – Rekod Menanai Generasi Berwawasan (Records Nurture a Visionary Generation).
He said the theme was chosen to emphasise that a generation must be equipped with adequate knowledge in order to become resourceful and visionary.
Hj Mohammad Jefri said public records are a valuable resource and asset.
“Usually people see money and manpower to be a resource, but information can be a resource, as well as an asset.”
The acting head encouraged members of the public to visit the National Archives as the building has three repositories housing records and archives dating back to 1844.
The centre houses and preserves various government documents, historical documents, old maps, building plans, microfilms, audiovisuals, tape rails and other media information.
Hj Mohammad Jefri said the centre is visited mostly by local university students who require more information for their research, as well as foreign nationals who want to find out more about the country.
He said the centre does not only keep records and archives but also authorises the disposal of public records.
“This includes indentifying, appraising, registering, archiving, securing, preserving and conserving national documentary heritage principals.”
He said the National Archives also assist in asserting the national agenda in the form of information sharing and education.
Public consultancy services are also offered in record-keeping management, including conventional and electronic records.
Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) postgraduate student Nuur Amalina Ahmad said the vast information stored at the National Archives helped her in her research.
“Seeing as I was conducting research on our nation’s history, it was fitting for me to conduct my research at the archives.
“It was easy for me to find the information I needed as everything was dated and organised properly.”
Hj Mohammad Jefri said Brunei will join the celebrations by holding several activities throughout the next few months.
“One of the activities is a _tahlil _ceremony which will take place on June 11 at Kubah Makam Di-Raja at Jalan Tutong.”
Other activities such as a briefing on the National Archives will take place at a later date, said Hj Mohammad Jefri.
“The briefing will be organised to disseminate information on the centre to the public,” he said.
International Archives Day was established to raise awareness of the importance of archives, promote their protection and free access to archives.
The global celebration is also an opportunity for creators, users of archives, archivists and policy makers to network.
Apart from that, the international observance is also to celebrate the contribution of archivists and their professional solidarity.
The Brunei Times