Juma Al Nuaimi (Abu Dhabi)
Dr. Abdullah Muhammad Al-Raisi, Director General of the National Archives, stressed the importance of the role played by the National Archives in terms of preserving the country’s documentary balance, and the importance of the support it receives from the wise leadership, which makes it able to excel and overcome all challenges on the path of developing archival work, and keeping pace with technical developments. and advanced global practices.
This came during a virtual forum organized by the National Archives yesterday, under the title: “The Strategic Role of the National Archives in the United Arab Emirates in Preserving the Memory of the Nation.”
The Director General of the National Archives reviewed the most prominent stages that the National Archives has gone through since its establishment as an office for documents and studies, under the guidance of the builder and founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God rest his soul – in 1968 AD, then the developments it went through when it became a center for documents and studies, then A center for documents and research, and a national center for documents and research, and at this stage, Federal Law No. 7 of 2008 was issued, according to which archives were organized in more than 300 government agencies, and real awareness of the importance of archives in preserving the memory of the nation began. The National Archives raised community awareness of the importance of documents and archives, until a real leap in this aspect occurred.
He touched on the distinguished experience in establishing the National Archives for the Conservation and Restoration Center, under the generous directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. Preservation in scientific and professional ways and to restoration in order to live a longer life. The Conservation and Restoration Center was provided with senior experts, and the national cadres were rehabilitated, until the Conservation and Restoration Center started with a strong start in the laboratory for the restoration of archival materials, the digitization laboratory (photographing), and stores for preserving archival materials, It made it qualified to preserve thousands of kilometers of historical documents.
The forum, which was attended by a large number of archive managers in the official institutions in the country, focused on keeping pace with the National Archives with artificial intelligence techniques, which will have a great impact on archiving and documentation, and will shorten a great deal of time and efforts that cannot be counted in indexing, preserving, archiving and making huge numbers of documents available. The National Archives is in the process of allying with ten countries to activate this advanced technology.
He explained the importance of the decision to transfer the competence of the National Library from the Ministry of Culture and Youth to the National Archives, as the library represents an intellectual archive for preserving and archiving the read intellectual production in the country from damage and loss and making it available to the public and future generations, and this is at the core of the National Archives’ competencies, stressing that such a decision is Clear evidence of the trust that the wise leadership places on the National Archives.
Al-Raisi explained the importance of the digital archive of the Arabian Gulf, which was established by the National Archives, in cooperation with the British Archives, as this site displays to its visitors on the Internet more than 500,000 historical documents related to the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, and stressed that this site will be provided in the next stage with half a million Another document from the British archives, and from other archives that had historical relations with the UAE.
Al Raisi called on the students to continue their higher academic studies in the master’s degree that the National Archives will launch, in cooperation with Sorbonne University – Abu Dhabi in records management and archival sciences. In this context, His Excellency thanked Sorbonne University – Abu Dhabi for its constructive cooperation in developing national cadres in the field of document management and archival sciences. The professional certificate in document management and archival science was launched, followed by the bachelor’s degree in document management and archival science, and today final preparations are underway to launch a specialized master’s in records management and archival science.
In his turn, Hamad Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department at the National Archives, spoke about global archives and the challenges they face, and reviewed the role of the National Archives in supporting the organization of archives in the country, starting with an assessment of the archive’s status, then technical consultations, preparing specialized human cadres, and organizing destruction operations. , and the transformation of the historical archive, and he spoke about the episodes of the archival series in the National Archives, and concluded his speech with the future aspirations of the National Archives.
Al-Mutairi clarified the most important risks that threaten documents in both paper and electronic forms, highlighting the importance of electronic attacks, which are increasing, reaching more than 300,000 attacks, and these attacks cause great damage to electronic archives in the world, in light of expectations of the huge increase in electronic archives.
For her part, Prof. Silvia Serrano, Director of Sorbonne University – Abu Dhabi, spoke about the preparation and qualification of national cadres specialized in the field of archiving and documentation in cooperation with Sorbonne University – Abu Dhabi and the National Archives, stressing the importance of archiving as it is the key to the development and advancement of nations and societies. She then pointed to the fruitful and close cooperation between Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and the National Archives, which resulted in the offering of 3 academic programs: a Bachelor’s degree in Document Management and Archive Sciences, a Professional Certificate in Document and Archive Management, and a Master’s in Document Management and Archive Studies.
She referred to Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi’s membership in InterPARES, the program dedicated to developing the knowledge necessary to preserve records created and digitally preserved in the long term, and its membership in the International Council on Archives (ICA).