Examining preservation and conservation of records at ministry of gender labour and social development
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The aim of the study was to examine the ways by which records are preserved and conserved at the Ministry Of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD). Specifically, the study sought to establish the current status of preservation and conservation of active records, management of preservation and conservation of these records, the challenges involved in preservation and conservation and to come up with suggestions on best practices for preservation and conservation. The study employed case study design since and targeted a particular the record officers at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social development. The methods used for data collection in this study were mainly the interviews and observation whereby the guiding tools were developed to guide the researcher during the data collection sessions. The findings revealed that MoGLSD keeps its records in two categories of active records which are electronic records which include; administrative records, personal records and financial records. Another category of active records but kept in print or in hard copy format included information materials such as Government publications, rare books; Photographic records and recorded audio collection as well as Newspaper collection. The storage equipments for electronic records are mainly the computers, CDs/DVDs. While paper formats which are kept in metallic filling cabinets, archival boxes that are acid free, on shelves. The management of preservation and conservation of active records is undertaken through, regular dusting removal, scanning, fumigation, binding especially of damaged books and other materials, repair and lamination. However, in doing so, there are some challenges that are faced during preservation and conservation of records at the MoGLSD. These include lack of space especially for hard copy records, the cabinet boxes are also not adequate, lack of preservation and conservation policy. The ministry is also understaffed and some of the storage facilities such as Acid free archival boxes are very expensive, there is also. Based on the above study challenges, the following recommendations were put forward; Increase on staffing, routinely checkups to determine their fragility to enable further strengthening on their preservation and conservation to avoid their deterioration, fumigation, need for disaster preparedness plan and to improve on storage space and facilities. The study also suggested areas of further studies and this was that the study can also be replicated in other government ministries in Uganda to find out if the same results hold.