PRESERVATION OF ARCHIVAL MATERIALS IN NATIONAL ARCHIVES ENUGU
Preservation of Archival materials is very important and very essential for prolonging of information and knowledge form one generation to another. This study discusses the methods of preserving Archival materials. The work is arranged in chapters for easy understanding. The chapters contained in this work are form one to five. The work does not only stop with the protection and safe-guarding of he archives from authorized access and loss resulting from water and fire but the provision of sophisticated and special storage building and also the control of the surrounding in which the records are kept. The cause of damages and deterioration of the Archival materials which includes chemical, physical and biological agents were also discussed. Interview method was used in the study, where some of the staff were interviewed to know how they preserve records (materials) and also the durability and effectiveness of the preservative measures in their Archives. Observation method was applied also to see how the materials were arranged and what they (staff) use in arrangement. At the end of this work, additional possible solutions will be suggested on how to preserve the materials.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The practice of keeping record is as old as civilization itself we would know little about civilization and ancient kingdoms but for the fact that records of Archaeological evidence of written record the discovery of the manuscript of the Hebrew torah in the temple is good example form biblical times. The Romans Emperor Justine (527-565 AD) has been quoted as issuing a decree to this governors in every province to set apart a public building to store their accords. As a matter of fact, the measure of a nations civilization has always been judged by the pride. It place on its written records which from the raw materials of it history many individual does not know the important of preserving records of the past history until when hey are in need of it, this behavior is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but has prevailed in every country where people have not been in the habit of taking adequate care of their records, despite this archival centers have sprang up. Where ever it is realized that to destroy record is to destroy the very source form which reliable history could be written.
Archives have been defined as those records of any public private institution which are adjudged worthy of permanent preservation for reference and research purposes and which have been deposited or have been selected for deposit in an archival institution, Archives is also repository for an organized body of records produced or received by a public, semi-public institutional or business entity. In the transaction of its affairs and preserved by it or its successors. People some times refer to Archival institution “As Archives”.
The institution and Administration of Archives may be traced from antiquity Archives and Archival administration as they are understood today, dates from the French revolution. The establishment of the Archives departmental in 1796 and Archives National in 1989, there was for the first time a unified Administration of Archives that embarked in existent repositories and records producing public agencies, they are responsible for the care of its documentary heritage. Another result was the principle of accessibility of Archives to the public.
The united Nations and the several international organizations maintain Archives. The international council on Archives was founded in 1948 by professional Archivists. Meeting Paris under the help of UNESCO. Membership is open to all professional Archivists and to representative of:-
- Central Archival directorates or administration.
- National and international regional association of Archivists.
- All Archival institution.
The science of records controls has to face at least three central issues such as
- The determination of types of removed from agencies of origin.
- The time of disposition
- The manner of disposition.
Practice varies but elimination usually occur before transferring records from the agency of origin. The Archival materials include all books, maps, papers, photographs and other documentary materials other Archival materials include motion pictures, sound recording, photographic records and computer records micro copies are determined by special legislation as a practical medium for making additional copies of warfare as preservation against normal deterioration or damage for use in international exchange.
The function of any Archival institution. The world over includes records disposition, arrangement, description, publication, reference services and preservation of all the functions record.
Preservation of Archival materials does not stop with safe-guarding he Archives form losses resulting form fire and water. It includes also the provision of special storage buildings the control of the environment in which the records are kept, provision of conservation workshops and laboratories and well trained staff for conservation and restoration of activities.
In Nigeria these functions seems to have suffered prolonged neglect, due to miss guided actions and priorities misplacement, the term preservation has been defined as all measures taken by an archival to his archives from deterioration. Preservation is aimed at preventing damages to the Archives or restoring documents that have been damaged. According to Kelthpellia, and Meelia conservator constitutes two aspects conservation and restoration. Conservation is aimed at preventing measure taken to protect our Archives against diseases. It includes telling such steps as good house keeping or maintaining hygiene.
Restoration on the other hand means taking correction measures for strengthening weakened or brittle documents. When deterioration has set in on paper restoration is the only way to revive the documents and make it useable and serviceable. The history or preservation is as old as he invention of the art of writing, before the invention of writing, the primitive mam had learnt to make impressions on the walls of his caves such drawing provided useful research information for the archives.
Ancient Egypt were the first to develop the art of writing to record his dally activities record his social, economic physical and cultural as well as communications with others in distant lands and to records natural charges. The use of day of metal back leaves, parchments, papyrus, vellum, and paper. Some of those old form to written are still in else in some parts of the world despite the invention of paper. The felt still remain that all these materials were subjacent to rapid deterioration owning to national aging and prolong stay and as a result of adverse weather effects and environmental factors such humility, light, insects heat and vermin’s.
However for this preservation, different measures are adopted such as wrapping the materials with clothes using preventice and preservative oil and storing them in cylindrical tubes. The problems of preservation of document have increased tremendously as a result of the predominant use of paper in printing and writing.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NATIONAL ARCHIVES ENUGU
The pioneering efforts of DR. KENNETH .O. DIKE a prominent historian and scholar led to the establishment of the Nigerian records office, now called the NIGERIAN NATIONAL ARCHIVES in 1954 with headquarters at Ibadan. His survey and report of non-current official records of Nigeria were accepted by the colonial government on 1st April 1954 he was appointed the supervise of records to preserve and organize the records of Nigeria.
The Nigeria records office as it was first called was place in the Federal Ministry of education in 1957, and in the same year it become a division in the federal ministry of information till 1979, when it was again transferred to the newly erected ministry of social development, youths, sports and culture.
The National Archives right form the beginning has established its branches at Enugu and Kaduna. The Enugu office was opened in 1952, the development now have two repositories bult with part of he U.A.C independence gift to the chief. The Archivist is Mr. UWAKWA ORIJI. There are many sections in the National Archives Enugu, they are as follows:
1. Processing unit
2. Bindery/repairing section
3. Reprographic section
4. Research room
5. Library section
This is where Archives start, the staff in this section will search for records and these records are in form of books, maps, papers photograph and other documentary materials. Records record of any public or private institution which is adjudged worthy of permanent preservation and conservation.
After the survey of the materials the staff will inform the office that has those record to tie and keep them, provision should be made and how to carry those materials to the Archival institution. Now the material acquired is in Archival custody. After acquiring sorting follows. The material are now order. Listing and classification of these records is another stage. Then these records are prepared for easy identification. During the real processing, then the records are based and labeled to know the contents of each box. The box will be in stock and are placed in the shelves, now open for use because the physical and intellectual control has been done.
MR: DENNIS OKE is in charge of this processing base unit. He is an Archivist grade 2.
BINDERY / REPAIR/SECTIONS
In this section in the National Archives Enugu, the main preservation is done and maintained. The melteriells brought into the institution are examined to know the ones that are weak. The weak ones are sent to the buidery and repair section, materials brought into this section are examined again by the staff in charge to know the type of repair that will last longer. Millily the traditional repairs and rebined of documents is mostly done.
The traditional methods is where baking flour that is in form of paste is used ot rub on the paper mostly write-ups nad pasted to it he write-ups. The flour paste serves as an adhesive to the paper.
Rebuilding of document is where give is rubbed on the spine of the text. In this section they bind books, rebuild books magazines and even projects for outsiders. Some of the machines in use in this section include:
1. Blocking machine: Is use for giving title to the books and is
2. Color: use for cutting of papers.
3. Nipping pressing; Is used to give pressure to the book after binding
4. Backing machine: Is used to give conceive and convex shape to the books.
5. Typing machine: Is used for printing letters of the alphabet on the books.
- C.C. ONURAL is in charge of this section and is a Higher Technical Officer.
This section performs three functions to help it preserving materials. The first one is microfilming which means reproduction of documents; 33mm film is what they use. Microfilming is used to preserve the records, in that large volumes of records will be minimized to contellin in smell fum. It is easy to remove or evacuate in case of flood and fire outbreak, it saves the life span of the original copy, if photo production is another every of preserving the records; this is where old photographs of personalities are produced. As the photographs become old and brittle they are photographed to produced another one.
The type of machine used in the reproduction of these old photograph nad maps is called genography machine photocopying is another medium of preservation, it help to produced the Archival materials in many copies.
The reason for this section is to provide reference materials and assistance to researchers, because researchers are not allowed to go to the shelves or document boxes by themselves alone to collects materials, as a researchers, you introduce yourself to the security at the inquiring drop your bag and write your purpose of coming.
The National Archival library is not like the academic school or public libraries; it is only a departmental library that preserves books and not Archival materials the library preserve, acquires and stores wide varieties of books and publications of government. The books are not catalogued rather they make use of register catalogue. The library helps users and researchers in their references works. Books are acquired through authors write-up and donations. The librarian in charge of this section is MR. CHRISTIAN UZOR, he is the librarian.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROLEM
THE INVESTIGATOR IS TRYING TO LOOK UNTO
i The condition of storage to the Archival materials.
ii The problem of absolute equipment for preservation.
iii The cellibers of staff that are supposed to work at the Archival materials
iv The kind of paper and other materials used in the preservation of Archival materials.
The preservation Archival materials have suffered prolonged neglect, due to misplacement of priorities. Many problems in he field of preservation and repair apply to all countries advice, but there are at addition many specific problems concerning each individual country, which depend upon the climate, the condition of storage degree of deterioration of holdings the kind of paper and he calibers of staff and the restoration workshop.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THEY STUDY
The investigator wishes to
i Find out he methods of preserving Archival materials in national Archives Enugu.
ii Examine the problems associated with preserving Archival materials
iii Discover the causes of deterioration of Archival materials Archival Enugu.
v Recommend measures that will help to solve the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the causes of deterioration of Archival materials at the National Archival Enugu?
2. What are the materials deteriorate.
3. What are the problems associated with preserving Archival materials at the National Archival Enugu?
4. What are methods of preserving Archival materials at the National Archival Enugu?
5. What recommendations would help to solve he problems associated with preservation of Archival materials at the National Archival Enugu?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will only focus on the preservation of Archival Enugu, belt it is opposed to cover wider extents, not only preservation but also administration to archives but due to financial constraints and time factors, the investigator could not make it.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will help those that keep records to know the modern and improved in preservation method and also ginger those that make use of Archival materials to know how to manage keep, preserve and conserve their material and or documents properly.
Use this article as a guide for your own research paper (if properly cited)