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Importance of archives highlighted

By Correspondent

JALUKBARI, Dec 16 - The Department of History, Gauhati University, organised an international workshop on archives and historiography yesterday with a daylong programe.

Florus Geraedts, Senior Archivist from Netherlands who was the resource person, gave a background of the Bangladesh Archives & Records Management Society (BARM) since 1995 and the need for cooperation between the Bangladesh National Archives, Assam State Archives (ASA) and civil society including NGOs, local press clubs, college teachers etc.

Geraedts highlighted the richness of archives as sources for material for historical research and publication. He said everyone has, and produces archives. Even a very poor textile worker, who gets her salary or wage note, even if she cannot read it, will know very well that she has to be careful with this in order to receive her payment. Students have reports, exam diplomas or certificates. A driver�s licence for an auto cab driver is an important archival document. Nowadays mobiles and smart phones are pocket archives themselves: apps, sms, emails, all contacts, pictures, videos, music altogether may be considered as vital archival information about a person and his or her network, both private, public and even judicial, he said.

He underscored the need to coordinate as teachers and scholars in history and engage in archives awareness raising activities, such as teachers visiting the Assam State Archives with the students or conduct a small-scale historical research activity, make a description of a gazetteer, of a census etc.

The archivist also stated that it is absolutely important for history and heritage associations in Guwahati and other cities and municipalities of Assam to establish links. Important questions posed by him were: What is the meaning of the North East India History Association (NEIHA)? Is there a connection between ASA and this regional historical association?

He encouraged research scholars to use Facebook as a medium for historiography by creating Facebook page: Assam: local and regional history, and create their own laboratory on history and make contributions to Wikipedia articles.

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