In Southasia today, the immense importance of archives for the overall advancement of society is yet to be recognised. Moreover, the resources set aside to undertake this important activity of collecting, preserving, cataloguing and sharing documentation are largely limited to government-run national or state archives, which are often victim to the vagaries of political compulsions. Meanwhile, historical records at the district level or lower, whether governmental or private are almost wholly neglected. Over the past three years, Archives Southasia at Hri has been committed to highlighting the importance of archiving and garnering greater recognition for private archives, including providing training and support to individuals and organisations in conservation, digitization, cataloguing and archiving.
The first-ever conference of Southasian archivists and collectors held in Bangalore in July 2012 was a unique forum to discuss issues facing archives in the region. One of the issues that came to the forefront was the lack of training and resources available to small organisations and individuals. At the conference, we agreed to join hands and work on organising cross-country training workshops in Southasia. Today, we are happy to announce that Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, Kathmandu, one of the oldest institutions in Nepal has set the ball rolling by organising a training program on Paper Conservation for participants from Kathmandu / Nepal. We hope that, in the future, we could replicate a similar program at a Southasian level. We share details of the program below.
Training Program on ‘Paper Conservation’
November 24-December 12, 2013
Coordinated by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP)
Resource Persons:Mr Akiyo Yasue (Former Deputy, The National Library of Japan) and Mr Masakazu Kuba (Senior Conservator, National Library of Japan).
Yasue is a preservation consultant for library and archives. Former Deputy of the National Library of Japan, he is Lecturer on Archival Science, Graduate Course, at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. Yasue has been lecturing and doing consulting works for library and archives preservation in Asia. He has earlier visited Nepal twice as guest speaker on documentary heritage preservation symposiums.
Kuba is a book and paper conservator and has worked for several decades as Book Conservator at the National Library of Japan. He has a long experience teaching library and archives conservation in Japan and abroad including Indonesia, Korea and the United States. Kuba is also the coauthor of “Conservation of Paper-based Materials: A Manual” published by the Japan Library Association, in 2005.
The Inaugural Session
Date & Time: Sunday, November 24, 2013, 11:00 am
Venue: Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur
Keynote Address by Mr Akiyo Yasue
15 individuals from various archives and libraries in Kathmandu are participating in this three-week-long training. Participants will learn basic conservation techniques including cleaning and repairing of paper-based materials. Further, the training will focus on preparing protective enclosures and handling materials for exhibitions.
MPP has been working since the past 55 years to raise awareness on the value of archiving to the society and facilitating the exchange of skills, knowledge and experience among the practitioners and institutions from the archive-library community.
This training, MPP believes, will be of great help to the archiving community in Nepal, where they have been managing with limited infrastructure and skills. The knowledge and experience that our resource persons bring makes this a rare opportunity for us to get exposed to and learn from the finest in conservation practices.
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