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Message from the Chairperson on the occasion of International Archives Day 2013

The 6th International Archives Day will be celebrated on Sunday, 9th June. The International Archives Day is an excellent opportunity to promote a better understanding of archives. Unfortunately, the public perception of archives is sometimes not very clear. Often confused with libraries, archives tend to be perceived as documents for internal use only, which are difficult to access and are of interest only to historians. In reality, archives safeguard the records and documents, created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organisation or person in the transaction of their business. These records are preserved by their creators, successors or archive institutions because of their legal value or enduring historical significance. Thus, archives constitute a major cultural heritage and information resource.

When a group of Commonwealth archivists met in Bonn in 1984 to set up what today is the Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers (ACARM), their vision was to “further the professional relations and the development of archival knowledge and sills in the Commonwealth”. The organisation has fulfilled this role for the last 29 years. However, we still have big challenges ahead. The archival scenario has changed completely. We are faced with the challenge of new media and issues such as accessibility in view of the new data protection and freedom of information cultures.

In order to meet the challenges of the times we are currently reviewing our organisational set up. We are communicating by making better use of social networking. We are also plan to come up with amendments to our constitution during the Annual General Meeting which is planned for the coming November in Brussels.
We cannot fulfil our plans alone. This day provides us with the opportunity to state our appreciation for the valid work being undertaken within the Commonwealth by the various public and private archival institutions. On this day, I would like to thank all those who support archives and the Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers. Let us enhance our networking in order to further promote the richness of our archives, and the indispensible need of good records management to guarantee accountability in public administration.

Posted: 6/8/2013 (7:32:49 AM)

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