Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Archival Records and Manuscript Collections in Selected Polytechnic Libraries in North-Central, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Archival Records and Manuscript Collections in Selected Polytechnic Libraries in North-Central, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

An archive is an accumulation of historical records and manuscripts or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of individual, institutions, organization's life time and are kept to show the function of that person, institution or organization. Professional archivists and historians generally understand archives to be records and manuscripts that have been naturally and necessarily generated as a product of regular legal, commercial, administrative or social activities.

Archives can serve as a tool for performance assessment both by individuals, organization or government agencies. "Information is the currency of democracy and for individual members of the community to be able to evaluate the success or otherwise of government programs, to be able to assert their rights, to debate the issues of the day, citizens must have access to information created and distributed by institution. Archive is a necessary requirement for the continued survival and transformation of the institution and Nigeria in particular and the world in general. As such, the availability of proper description or organization and use of archival records will no doubt influence the effective roles of archival records in terms of social transformation, and this also remained an important aspect of consideration and exploration in archival administration.

Mbagwa, Njoku, Solomon and Okoroafor (2012) observed that it is quite unfortunate that despite the numerous educational, historical and traditional significance of archives, not much is known about it in Nigeria especially as a branch of information management, hence the need for the research interest in the establishment and uses of archive as a branch of information management in Nigerian Polytechnic libraries. Akotia (2003) stressed the need for African Country, restructuring of the records management systems of government is crucial for improving the efficiency of development, management, intervisions, historians, geologists, lawyers, demographers, film makers and others conduct research at archives.

Aliyu (2007) observed that records continued to accumulate at a greatly accelerating rate during the worldwar II. The need to keep the accumulation from becoming unmanageable resulted in the establishment of records administered programs on records disposition in the Federal government. The desire to keep and use records of knowledge and information for reference and permanent preservation can be linked to the earliest time of human history. History has shown how people of the ancient era kept records of their thoughts and experiences on items at their disposal. Clay-tablets, papyrus, cuneiform, palm-trees, bark of trees, animal skins, stones, etc, for example, were used for some purposes and historical documentation. With the development of paper and other non-textual documentary forms such as films, photographs, still and motion pictures, videotapes and related machine readable forms, archival records then continue to appear on special physical characteristics.

Many studies have pointed to the important roles of archival records in societal transformation. Cunningham and Philips (2005) further submitted that, archives have an important role in ensuring national and cultural memory, scholarly research are ensuring an enshrined democracy entitlements of the governed. The quest for democratic principles in Nigeria can be enhanced via effective accessibility and use of archival records. Institution archive will serve as a means of empowering both staff and students against potential maladministration, corruption and autocracy which characterized contemporary democracy of Nigerian society. The archival records can provide all staff and consultants with a kind of check and balance mechanism against a tyrannical administration.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study were to:

1. …

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