Assessment of management of archives at Makerere University Library Africana Section
Namusoke, Zaharah Aminah
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Archives are records worthy permanent retention because of their enduring value as evidence and research. They provide a reliable and authentic knowledge base enabling the past to be reconstructed and understood. Archives document significant decisions, transactions and events of political, social and economic life and serve as an essential link in the chain of human history. A study was undertaken to assess of management archives at Makerere University Library Africana Section. The objectives were; to find out how archives are collected; to establish the arrangement and description of archives; to find out challenges associated with collection, arrangement and description of archives at Makerere and to make recommendations for proper collection, arrangement and description of archives. The study involved 4 respondents; 1 archivist and 3 librarians. The study adopted a case study research design and data was collected using interviews and observation method. The findings revealed that Africana section maintained archives in both electronic and paper form. The archives were collected from purchase, legal deposit and Makerere University policy. There was an established structure for arranging and describing archives according to years and access numbers which were entered into the catalogue to ease access. Arrangement and description for archives started from an institutional level of a fond to sub-fonds, series, file and lastly to item. In addition, they faced some challenges of some publishers who do not want to deposit their publications, inadequate storage facilities for new archival accessions, under staffing, intensive light, inadequate funding, little effort in enforcing laws about timely deposit and limited procedures manuals. The study concluded that there should adequate staffing because the chief resource of the archival institution is its staff and to translate assets into achievement and the management structure should allocate clear tasks to each staff member with responsibility and a share in the development of policy. The study recommended adequate staffing, tightening laws about deposit, providing adequate storage facilities for new archival accessions, controlling the light intensity, adequate funding and providing procedures manuals. In addition, there should be a reporting and assessment program that recognizes good work and sets out attractive and realistic programs for the future.