ON ARCHIVES @Jessore Government City College, Jessore Town, 13 january 2018
January 27, 2018, 10:49 pm
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“Jessore Government City College, situated in the heart of Jessore town, is one of the oldest and leading colleges in the South Bengal as well as in the country. This college has achieved a prestigious position in the history of education of the nation”, (from:
Florus Geraedts and Elias Kanchon visited this college on the 13th of January to give a training on record keeping and archives management. Subjects of the training:
1. Records and archives as essential and significant part of a nation’s information resources
2. Role and function of these records and archives in society:
    a) basic tool for government planning
    b) rendering good service to the public
    c) prove of citizen’s rights
    d) enhancing transparency and accountability
    e) historical research and debate
3. Management of records and archives (filing, storage, appraisal, arrangement and description, etc.)
4. Open floor / questioning
Total amount of participants: 112, teachers, staffs and Students of JGCC:

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Meeting of BARMS Executive at ISLM Department Dhaka University, 14 October 2017
October 16, 2017, 9:24 pm
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Before the meeting of the BARMS Executive at 4 PM, Elias Kanchon had a network meeting at The International University of Business, Agriculture & Technology (IUBAT), Uttara, Dhaka. Participants were Monowara Sarwar & Kohinur of the Library Department, Rabiul Islam, special Aid to the Vice-Chancellor of IUBAT, and Shohag of EEE Lab. Discussion was about archives planning at IUBAT, contributions to the International Conference on Archives & Records Management (ICARM) on 24 February 2018, Rabiul’s newly established Politechnical Institute in Nilphamari, Jaldhaka (by his NGO Oasis for Posterity) and his plans to establish training on Right to Information & Archives by OfP in Nilphamari, Jaldhaka, together with Florus Geraedts and Sigfried Janzing, and finaly how to strengthen the Archives Movement.
Meeting of the Executive of BARMS took place from 4 PM till 6 PM and was all about planning of the second ICARM on 24 February 2018.
1. Options of the title of the conference: Archives is Past, Present, Future” or “Archives in the Digital World”
2. It was decided that ICARM 2018 will be a two days conference with local and international speakers, discussion, seminars and a cultural programme
3. Co-organizers are the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Dhaka university ISLM Department
4. Suggested Chief Guests: Asaduzzaman Noor, Minister of Cultural Affairs of the GOB (1st day of the conference) and Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Finance Minister of the GOB (2nd day of the conference)
5. Date of ICARM: 24 February 2018 (date of Establishment of BARM Society was 24 February)
6. Invitations to 30 speakers from Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nepal, Srilanka, UK, USA
7. Funding, think of: GOB, BARMS, SWARBICA, ICA-FIDA, Netherlands BARM, IRMT.
8. Two new committees were established for reasons of organizing ICARM:
        1. A Financial Committee
        2. An International Committee.
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Meeting of the Executive of BARMS, 23 September 2017, National Museum, Dhaka
October 1, 2017, 8:12 pm
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Abstract of the Minutes of the meeting:

1. Decision to organize an International Seminar on Archives Past, Present and Future in February 2018 (2nd ICARM – International Congres on Archives & Records Management).
2. Decision to organize a workshop on Archives and Records Management in this month of October
3. Decision to organzie a meeting with cultural secretary to discuss the monitoring of  records management all over the country and hand over the letter to the cultural secretary issued from MOPA.
4. Organize an inspection visit to Dhaka Collectorate Record Room.
5. Discussion on establish of an Archives Training Institute Bangladesh (ATIB) for Archival studies.
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Right to Know Day, 28 September
September 5, 2017, 7:32 pm
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Wouldn’t it be a good idea for tbe Archives Movement Network Bangladesh to prepare the celebration of the 28 September 2017: Right To Know Day? Archives are basic tool for Right To Information and Right To Know.

See for example: IID celebrated the International Right to Know Day on 28 September 2016 with a RTI awareness rally. The Institute of Informatics and Development
(IID) joined the Information Commission and other organisations to celebrate the day with a morning rally in Dhaka. Honorable Minister of Information Hasanul Haq Inu MP, Chief Information Commissioner Professor Dr. Md. Golam Rahman, local government representatives, NGO representatives and common citizens attended the rally. IID colleagues attended the rally that was held at the National Museum in Dhaka. IID is a public policy institute promoting evidence-informed inclusive policy. IID is registered as a nonprofit institute in Bangladesh under Section 28 of the Companies Act 1994.

Visit 21 August to Bhola, Barisal Division, by Elias Kanchon and Shahedul Chowdhury for Archives awareness programme
August 29, 2017, 10:59 pm
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1. Visit to Fozilatunnessa Government College
We started our program at Fozilatunnessa Government College meeting shortly with College principal Samsul Alam for a discussion on archives and archives management. College Principal introduced us with the College record-keeper to learn more about management of College’s archives. What we discovered after meeting the record-keeper was:

There is still no awareness about ARCHIVES and Record Management systems. There were some files, which files had no date and no file access code. The Registrar and Record keeper wanted to know from us more about the system of Archives Management. This is an important step because expressing this wish by the registrar is the same as expressing the need for training in Archives and Archives management which is the start of awareness!

College Principal suggested us for next programmes to bring with us a Government – given letter of introduction or certificate.

2. Visit to Bhola Municipality
As our next step we went to the Municipality of Bhola in order to meet with staffs of the so called Room of Certificates (Birth registration, Tax collecting, Land registration) and documents service. We saw their documents systems and talked about storage of original documents, specially in hard copy form. Our first findings of this visit:

There was no real Archives Room (repository), they just were using a room as a sort of “store house” to put in their Documents. There was still lack of awareness about system and method of Archives & Record Management. And important to note: there was no connection with the National Archives of Bangladesh in Agargaon, Dhaka to transfer records in the future.

3. Meeting with members and journalists of the Bhola Pressclub
After the programme at Municipality of Bhola, we went to the Bhola Press Club and met and discussed with Mr. Khoslo. He is working as Press Club Office Assistant. We collected the cell phone numbers of Pressclub President, General Secretary and the Prothom Alo
Journalist Mr. Niamol with whom we had a meeting of 30 minutes. After that, he shared all Pressclub members names, pictures,  e-mail adresses and contact cellphone numbers. We got a complete list of key-persons.

4. Meeting at the Bhola Pressclub with Umme Ema’s youth group
We met with all members of Umme Ema’s youth group at the Pressclub Hall for meetings for a first training / discussion about the need of archives and archives management:
Explaning essential archival questions:
1. What are Archives?
2. What is the relationship between Archives and Good Governance.
3. How can we preserve our documents as archives
4. Importance of  archives for government, Non-government organization (NGO), as well as for our Personal Life.
5. Why to use Archives for Right To Information of citizens, for research and writing decent / reliable history, for planning hospitals and schools, for environment control, producing reliable original and powerful archival documents for these reasons.
6. Elias gave 3 practical examples:
1. Archival documents in Netherlands about the building of the Jamuna Bridge.
2. Cricket as started in Kishoreganj.
3. Touhid Hasan Moyna Bhai in bogra, about his Family Archives and feelings.
7. The amount of Archivists needed in Bangladesh as well as according to international standards.
8. Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council (BM&DC) requirement that all Medical Colleges & Hospitals must have their own Archives Repository and Archivist staffs. Without this the BM&DC will not give any permission for establishing such a hospital & medical college. We know this information also from Florus and from Shamim, since 2 years archivist of the Dr Gazi Mizan Medical College and Hospital in Khulna
8. Especial lecture about the importance of archives as tool for the RTI Act. How helpful archives are as tool for RTI for giving power to the citizens.

All participants were quite happy about the lectures of Elias and Shahedul which were finalized with an important OPEN FLOOR DISCUSSION with the young leaders with remarks like:
1. Archives management and Right To Information and Good Governance is a very much sensitive matter, we should know more and more about it.
2. While acquiring more knowledge about Archives and Information in Society and Government the young persons like in Umme Ema’s group and other local groups of the Archives Network should visit schools, hospitals, health care centers, local government offices etc. and start discussions with the staffs about use and management of the Archives.
3. These visits will enlarge the awareness of the importance of archives and records and the GROWING NEED for taking BETTER CARE for these archives and records.
4. Connection is needed of the members of Archives Network with Local Government on Archives and discuss use of Archives by the media (local newspapers and TV channels) and specially with local Pressclub.
5. Archives are tool of real development of our country Bangladesh, archives are needed for real use of the Right To Information Act of all Government officials and VERY IMPORTANT, of ALL Citizens. Archives will be the sources for good quality of Research and writing of our History. Archives as a tool also will help and improve general management by government, schools, colleges, private enterprises and specially improve the planning.

If our Archives Network members find any problems in Archives management and use they can get in contact with coordinating persons in Archives Network. Elias gave the participants the book “60 Questions on NGO – Archives” and the  RTI leaflet, explaining about the Right To Information, RTI act 2009,  written by Lutful Haque and Azizul Rasel.
Meeting finished at 03:15 PM

After the Program we returned to our Hotel, took rest and went to the restaurant for taking our lunch. In the evening we started our return journey from Bhola to Dhaka by launch.

By: Elias Kanchon & Shahedul Chowdhury

Preparing awareness programmes on Right to Information & archives management with local groups in Rajshahi, Bhola, Kishoreganj, 26 July 2017.
July 30, 2017, 10:07 pm
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Elias Kanchon visited the National Archives of Bangladesh (NAB) to talk to Deputy Director of NLB, Jamal Uddin and Ali Akbar and Elias Miah, NAB archivists. Elias discussed with Ali Akbar an Archives Awareness Program in Rajshahi in August or September. Ali Akbar, when invited by Elias Kanchon, told that he is interested to accompany as trainer the archives team (Elias Kanchon, Fazle Mir, Shahed, Hasan Mahmood) while going to the Rajshahi Archives Programme. Elias Miah also showed interest in such a programme.

In afternoon Lutful Haque received Elias Kanchon at Prothom Alo office for delivery of banner and posters to use for local Archives Programmes. Lutful supports, stimulates and inspires Elias Kanchon. Elias also met with Khair Millat, Matin and Meher Afroz in the Library and documentation department of Prothom Alo. Khair knows a lot about Right to Information, archives management and history and supports local archives programmes as Matin and Meher also do. They showed interest in joining these local archives programmes in Kishoreganj (with Himo Paribahan), Bhola or Rajshahi. In August or September such a local programme could be arranged was their conclusion.

Elias also discussed this with Shahed. Florus advises Elias to invite also (at least informing about these programmes) Motalib of Bangladesh Police Academy in Rajshahi, Shamim of Dr. Gazi Mizan Hospital in Khulna, Niher Roy in Kishoreganj, Halima Afroz of the NAB Reading Room, Tofael Ahmed and Yousuf Shikdher (both have got archives experience in Prof. Mahabub’s  Heritage Archives in Kazla Gate, Rajshahi).

In the evening Elias met Shahed to discuss about organizing the Bhola Archives programme in August. Also Elias and Shahed had contact with Umme Ema in Bhola.  Furthermore Elias and Shahed discussed about preparing of the Skype meeting in August, with Sharifuddin, Lutful Haque, Sigfried Janzing and Florus Geraedts for organizing this Bhola programme.

After meeting Shahed, Elias Kanchon visited Dr. Sharifuddin in his home in Uttara sector 7,  20.30 – 22.30 PM. Good discussion and Dr. Sharif told about a big company (like Squire) having communicated with Dr. Sharif about their wish and plan to start real Archives Management and to make a complete Archives Developing plan: needed manpower, materials, building, digital archives management and hard copy (paper documents) archives management. Dr. Sharif asked Ali Akbar of NAB to make such a plan for Archives Management Development. Elias Kanchon suggested to Dr. Sharif uddin to make such an Archives Management Development Plan with Fazle Mir and Ali Akbar and specially for DIGITAL Archives with Sarwar Morshed, who is an expert on Digital Archives. Florus suggested also to get in touch with Md Samsur Rahman Tuhin for this reason.

Lutful advises Elias Kanchon to take the 6 weeks Archives Course in Delhi at the National Archives of India School for Archival Studies (S.A.S.). Dr Sharif also suggested to Elias Kanchon to read Salma Islam’s book on Archives.


Empowering archives network, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, 21 May 2017
May 20, 2017, 8:09 pm
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1.  @10.30 AM Meeting with all participants, Elias Kanchon, Shahedul Chowdhury, members of volunteer group Himo Parihaban, students -> visit Kishoreganj Municipality, Mayor & Record Keepers Nihar Roy and Sodipto Mojumder. Explaining what is record keeping, why is it needed, ARM practice at the Municipality.

2. @12.30 PM Departure to Additional Deputy Commissioner (Overall) – Tarfdar Md. Aktar Jamil to visit and learn about Kishoreganj District Council (or Zila Parishad) Record Rooms and Information & Archives Development.

3. @02:00 PM Lunch

4. @03:00 PM Visit to: A) Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) – office to discuss relations between archives – good governance – ending corruption. SUGGESTION 1: expand the archives network with the Youth Engagement Support Group (YES); B) local NGO’s; C) Kishoregonj Zila Government Hospital & Zila Education Office to learn about their  Record Keeping & receive their opinions on actual training and education programmes for archives and record management in schools & colleges.

5. @08:00 PM Meeting with members of local pressclub “Shatabdir Khonto”: Professor  Pranesh Kumar Chowdhury, MA Pathan, Teacher Asrafali, Abdul Kaiyum and Amin Sadi.

Next day 22.05.2017 return to Dhaka.

SUGGESTION 2: to include Bondhushava Prothom Alo Volunteers and get in touch with the teachers and elder inmates of Kishoreganj Orphanage and teachers and students of Gurudayal College. If this is not possible on 1 day: 21 May maybe at the occasion of 9 June International Archives Day Bangladesh or later on in June or July, this extension of contacts in Kishoreganj can be made.


I am writing to inform you that I attended the kishorgonj program yesterday 21st May 2017. I am glad to share some pictures and some notes for your kind information,

11:11 AM:  We met eight members of Himu Paribahan (Name cell phone was taken)  in Kishoreganj Ghurodoyal College field. 

Interactive session begin with tea. Himu paribahan is a group of fan of Humayun Ahmed and trying to work to establish a cancer hospital, a library besides other social welfare activities like, blood donation and cultural activities. Discussion about keeping proper records of these activities (social welfare, blood donation and cultural activities).

A discussion about the importance of archives and records management took place. Some of the views came out were, necessity of preservation of documents such as certificates, land deeds etc. Maintaining diary is a good way to preserve records. Using phone is also a good way for archive. 

I tried to discuss in brief about basics of archive and record management from the lecture of Sgifired given in DU. But no slides were shown. A structured training could be organized to provide training for the group in future to give them better knowledge for themselves about archives and record management. A fundamental training module needs to be created with the help of Florus and Sigfried. 

12:05 PM: Visit at the DC office meeting

Mr. Jamal (Torofder Jamilil) was busy in conference. Visited  e-center of DC office.

Mr. Shapan Sarkar, an officer working in E-center was delighted to help us with information upon greetings.

He gave us brief tour in e-center of record management. Now they are maintain electronic records in the software.  He identified the problem that changes of software in the DC office every 3 years is problem as it needs records to be transferred, restored and restructured. He also inform to us about Citizen Charter (all kinds of government service / process time / information fee etc.)

He thinks record management is important. For any documents regarding lands or old records for the citizens now they have postal system, instead of letting the citizens come the ensure the delivery of the service to the citizens. Fees are charged according to the charter.

Government organized a country wide Unnayan Mela (Development fair) recently. He thinks it was very helpful to create awareness among citizens.

He is willing to extend his cooperation in celebrating Archives day 9th June. He suggested us to visit old record division.

12:36 PM: Visit at the old record division

The office was surrounded by water, and no sewerage system to drain the water out. People standing nearby said, the whole structure needs to be changed for better management.

Mr. Arifuzzaman Assistant Commissioner showed us the  around the store the record rooms. Very old records of hundred years are available.

Registrar is available for the records but no preservation system is there. Now they are working on electronic recording system through DRR project where 21 people are working as data entry operator. Project started June 2016 and will be finished June 2017. (Data Collector Abdul Gaffer, Jangalia Pakundia: total data enter already = 80788).

The Assistant commissioner is not aware of the allocated taka 500000/- provided for maintenance of district collector rooms. 

The documents are provided to the citizens upon request within 7 days with 74 taka fee.

Mr. Mozammel, record keeper, Kishoreganj Zila record room, is working to maintain the records along with another employee, assistant record keeper Koddos Babu, with 5 days training. .  He is working there for two years, previously he worked in court. He recently had three days training on record management in National Library in January 2017. This record room has: land records, historical records, development budget records, records of the monthly DC meetings.

01:16 PM: Mayor’s Office

Mr.Nihar Roy greeted us nicely and very glad to meet us. He requested everyone of the himu paribahan family contact him for anything. He was also willing to help on 9 June archives day celebration. We send greetings to Mayor before our departure.

After lunch we visited Chandrabati and took some pictures of heritage building of Chandra bati, a first lady poet of Bengal.  

From there we departed for our own destination. 

DRR office old record room KishorgonjChandrabati


1) 21 May  visit to Gurudayal College in Kishoreganj. Elias gave 21 May in Kishoreganj a lecture about archives, why are archives needed and useful for planning, legal proof and generally information delivery for Right To Information (RTI) and Right To Know (RTK)_for all Bangladeshi citizens.

2) Explanation about the governments decision to give every of the 64 districts 5 lakh Taka for archives management.

3) Elias and Shahed collected names, addresses, e-mail ID’s and cellphone numbers of all guests, mainly the Himo Paribahan members.

4) Visit of the whole group under Elias and Shahed to the DC’s office, where they visit the District Collectorate Records Room of Kishoreganj. They discussed with the record keeper who told what his work was. Dicussion about preservation and selection of partially preservation of important archival documents, partially disposing / destruction of not important archives documents. The record keeper told that he got a archives training of 3 days. He also got training on electronic or digital records keeping. They also discussed the relevance of land registration in order to discuss about the importance of archival documents for society, economy and all citizens in the juridical system of Bangladesh.

5) Then the group under Elias and Shahed visited the Kishoreganj Paurashava / Municipality. The mayor of Kishoreganj welcomed Himo Paribahan and Elias Kanchon and Shahedul Alam Chowdhury.


Record keeper Niher Roy gave a lecture to this group of visitors and mentioned the earlier visits of Florus Geraedts and Elias Kanchon in previous years for giving attention and instruction about the preservation and management of archives of Kishoreganj.

6)  Plan:  International Archives Day Bangladesh, 9 June 2017 (IAD) will be a moment and occasion of archives awareness activities and programmes.

7) Himo Paribahan and Elias and Shahed will give attention to the description, preservation and appraisal and disposal of Archives, preparing some kind of archives training, thus preparing Archives Training Institute Bangladesh (ATIB).

8) Elias also told about information given about the first Indian female poet Chandravati and her family house: a Zamindar’s house which is now a governments archaeological monument. Chandravati was the first woman (born c. 1550 AD – died 1600 AD) from the Indian subcontinent to compose the Ramayana in Bengali. She narrated the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view and criticized Rama. Chandravati is a highly individual rendition as a tale told from a woman’s point of view which, instead of celebrating masculine heroism, laments the suffering of women caught in the play of male ego.