Visit of British Archivist dr. Helen Forde, Chair of The British Postal Museum and Archive, to Dhaka University / Asiatic Society / BARMS, 30 April – 4 May
May 6, 2015, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Dr. Helen Forde is a leading archivist having worked at The National Archives where she was Head of Preservation Services. She has also worked with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Museums, Library and Archives Council, and is currently a board member of the Society of Antiquaries, the Friends of the National Archives and the Banbury Museum Trust. Helen is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of UCL.”, From: The British Postal Museum & Archive – website.

Invited by Dhaka University, dr. Helen Forde did a lecture at the Asiatic Society on 30 April and a meeting with BARMS officials, faculty students and staff of the Department of Information Science & Library Management (ISLM) of Dhaka University (seminar room) on 4 May.

On 3 May Helen Forde visited the Liberation War Museum, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, National Archives Bangladesh where she had a meeting with director Wadud Chowdhury. Some of her impression of archival situation in Bangladesh after these visits were: lack of archival training and trainers, lack of awareness of proper archives management and thus lack of structural means, need of an updated and proper Archives Act, need of institutions for archival training.

The lecture at The Asiatic Society was about Learning from the past Through Archives” with open floor discussion as follow up. At ISLM department it was a “your seat at the table”- debate on archival issues with students and staff. Some of the issues discussed during these two events were:

  1. The establishment of archival institutions in the young state of Bangladesh
  2. How to proceed to collect copies / original archives and records from British Archives & Archives of India
  3. Is support from United Kingdom and institutions in the UK like The British postal Museum and Archive for build-up of training and archival institutions possible?
  4. How to preserve hard and soft-copies and what are UK experiences?
  5. Start with a campaign for an Archives Study on central level like Dhaka University, Rajshahi University, Chittagong University
  6. Start a programme on awareness about proper management of archives as Bangladesh is a young state with the archival sector in his initial stage
  7. Bangladesh is a country with a rich and long history but without any proper record keeping since 1971
  8. Archival institutions like NAB started just recently, don’t expect immediate results and improvements of actions, time is needed
  9. Most important is to start with a plan on central regional and local level, plans and projects on archival development can be submitted to donor organizations like International Council on Archives (ICA) or South and West Asian Regional Branch of International Council on Archives (SWARBICA)
  10. The need of a proper Archival Law in Bangladesh
  11. The establisment of BARMS and its relations with Dutch – Bangladesh Archives & Records Management and members of BARMS (f.e. Mezbah-ul-Islam, Jalal Ahmed, Sharif uddin Ahmed, Fazle Mir, Abu Mokeram Kondhaker, Md. Lutful Haque,  Rahana, Elias Miah, Aliakbar, Elias Kanchon etc.)
  12. Visit of Dutch archivists each year to Bangladesh for training, visits on local level, network-building and handson training of young people like Elias Kanchon
  13. Suggestion to Helen Forde to make a report of her visit that can be used as a pressure instrument towards government (awareness)
  14. Facebookgroups Friends of Archives Bangladesh with almost 400 + members!
  15. Lack of archival research in Bangladesh and the possibilities of doing archival research abroad
  16. The importance of institutions like ICDDR,B as example of good record-keeping in Bangladesh with good storage facilities (repository)
"Your seat at the table" with dr. Helen Forde, BARMS officials, students and staff of DU

“Your seat at the table” with dr. Helen Forde, BARMS officials, students and staff of DU

"your seat at the table" (2)

“your seat at the table” (2)

"Your seat at the table" (3)

“Your seat at the table” (3)

and "Your seat at the table" (4)

and “Your seat at the table” (4)


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