Archives goes digital

The new digital preservation equipment known as METIS Scanner
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The National Archives of the Solomon Islands (​NASI) is currently digitising the analogue records of the country it kept in its repository.

The new digital preservation equipment known as METIS Scanner uses a Canon Mark-4 camera and external lighting technology to scan analog documents into very high-resolution copies and stored them electronically.

Government Archivist Julian Chonigolo in an interview said they are still in the process of converting the analogue historical documents.

This project was started in 2017 and was funded by the national Government.

“At the moment, we continue to scan analog files and convert them in TIF format and stored them electronically. But converting them and storing them in computers is not the end. We will also make it available to the public in a programme or software,” Ms Chonigolo said.

She said the good thing about the new digital preservation technology is historical records stays in a digital format and can be accessed and print it straight away without going to the repository and having to access it manually.

Chonigolo said they are yet to set up a research room with computers where students or researchers can go and use to access the documents electronically.

“Currently we are working on the British Solomon Islands Protectorate  records which holds the British administrative records,” she said.   

“It would be much easier if we get the process done,” she adds.

Chonigolo emphasized that archiving is very important because it is the corporate memory of the government.

“As a government archive, we collect administrative records and decision-making documents and we preserve it. Later when the government needs it, we can retrieve it.

“It is also very important for transparency and accountability; we can access document and see what the government is doing. Government can use to defend its decision, and even people too can access decision the government made,” she said.