Visit at National Archives Bangladesh, Monday, Januari 24
January 24, 2011, 11:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

At 09.00 o’clock Md. Elias Miah, senior archivist at National Archives of Bangladesh (NAB), picks me up for a visit to NAB. After a safari through Dhaka, jumping in and out of driving busses, we manage to reach National Archives. NAB is under construction at the moment but archival and administrative work is going on “undisturbed”. We are welcomed by deputy director, mrs. Salma Islam, in her office. After a short introduction she tells me about the three main projects for NAB in 2011: digitation and preservation of records, reconstruction of the NAB-building and training for recordkeepers. The call for training is desperate and sounds through all the conversations I have with archivists I meet. By the way, not only in this sector, they stress, but in the whole country. Actually NAB staff consists of 28 persons from which only three are archivists, all three trained outside the country, in India and Malaysia. Floor Geraedts is right on making education the core business of BARM! After meeting senior archivist Ali Akbar, we move upstairs where they show me the archival repository and the inventory room. There Md. Elias shows the project he’s working on with some assistants: the Chittagong Divisional Commissioner’s Office Records, 1899 – 1960. The actual state of these records are bad (see picture beneath). Working programme for these records consist of: fumigation, sorting, making dustfree, cleaning, arranging (by department, year and month, the Brittish system, principle of provenance), boxing (not acid free!), cataloguing and storing in steel racks. Junior archivist Nurul Islam assist Md. Elias Miah on this project and Nurul is one of the candidates for a training course outside the country, hoping to be able to walk in Miahs footsteps to New Delhi. After dinner at Salma’s office, me eating for the first time with my hands, Ali Akbar brings me back to Ambala Inn. Preparation for the next day starts. Too the further preparation of the kick of of Train the Trainers session, January 31 – February 1 next week. For this I have a meeting with professor Sharif uddin Ahmed at Dhaka University next Wednesday.
Sigfried Janzing

National Archives Building under costruction (1)

National Archives Building under costruction (2)

Construction works from inside the building

Welcom by Deputy Director of NAB, mrs. Salma Islam, senior archivist Md. Elias Miah and senior archivist Ali Akbar

Md. Nurul Islam (Light of Islam), middle, working as junior archivist on the Chittagong Divisional Commissioner's Office Records, 1899 - 1960

Actual state of the Chittagong Divisional Commissioner's Office Records

Senior archivsit, Ali Akbar, showing me a confidential record of the Raja of Chittagong Hill Tracks, Chittagong Divisional Commissioner's Office Records


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