Seminar on Managing Municipal Archives


The Department of National Archives of Sri Lanka would hold a seminar on the topic ‘Managing Municipal Archives’ today and tomorrow at the Department of National Archives.

Dr. Nadeera Rupesinghe, DG, National Archives issued the following Statement: The seminar will be opened by the Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe at 9.00 am today.

 The seminar is being co-sponsored by the International Council on Archives (ICA). The two-day training for local government officials in Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas on records management in their institutions will be conducted by Dr Bart Ballaux of the City of Rotterdam and Laura Taylor of the London Metropolitan Archives.

 The British established Municipal Councils here during the nineteenth century under Ordinance No. 17 of 1865, aiming at an efficient local administration and service to the public. Accordingly, Municipal Councils were first established in the major cities of Colombo, Kandy and Galle. Through this, urban community services such as construction and maintenance of roads, street lighting, water supply, public health services, sanitary systems and market facilities were provided and the records of these councils are deposited in the Department of National Archives. 

It is thus opportune to discuss the management of traditional records as well as digital records in local authorities. Two international experts on municipal archives will conduct the two-day seminar focusing on current, semi current and inactive records, records appraisal, disposal (destructions of unwanted records and transfer of records to the National Archives for permanent preservation), accrual of records at the National Archives for permanent preservation under certain rules and regulations and the maintenance of a record room. Procedures for the access of information by the public in municipal archives and standards in creating electronic records will also be discussed.

 In 2016, the National Archives carried out a survey on records and record rooms of local government institutions in Sri Lanka through a questionnaire to gather data with regard to the management of municipal records in cooperation with the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government.

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