The Modern National Archives of Jamaica

The development of a modern archive is the approach to be taken for the 21st century for Jamaica. Designing an archive in 21st century in Jamaica involves acting rigorously on policies to pursue acquiring locations capable of housing a national archive. The new National Archives will be a multimodal space enabled to provide regional and international researchers with the technology needed to fulfill research needs. This will be the hallmark in the development and recognition of the value of archives and records in Jamaica. Development of a digital technological archive should be an aspect of the Integrated Information and Communication Technologies ethos of the Public Sector and Transformation Modernisation Programme (PSTMP) in Jamaica.

The archival space envisioned for the modern archives in Jamaica will be technologically innovative and will result in the transformation of the traditional archives in Jamaica. The new National Archives is intended to be an archive with interactive technology, e-commerce, online interaction and associated technologies that model the ideal archives in the 21st century. The country’s archives should be upgraded to the type of archives located in countries like USA, Britain and China. The new National Archives of Jamaica will now become equals with international archives in the advancement of communication, research and learning technologies. The national archive is envisioned to change the professional arena of archives and records management in Jamaica introducing modern archival technologies to a nation where national development goals is the objective.

The contribution to expansion and development of professional archival education will be significant as the visualized National Archives of Jamaica will now be able to provide training opportunities for individuals seeking professional certification in the areas of Archives and Records Management disseminated through face to face or online training programmes. The National Archives will also garner an increased interest from schools since technology has been integrated in the curriculum of our students, it will an ideal place for students to tour. It is expected that usability and accessibility will be international facilitating cross-language information retrieval which is a stamp of global Information Communication Technological advancement. The anticipated modern archive is expected to improve employee morale and increase already established standards of commitment to excellent service delivery. A newly established National Archives of Jamaica will change the landscape of documentary heritage and reintroduce an interest in Jamaica’s history and its continued preservation.

By Miss Kimberly Blackwin, Assistant Archivit, Jamaica Archives and Records Department