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Thursday 03 February ,2022

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Distinguished services and extensive experience in preserving and making the UAE history accessible,

The National Library and Archives continues its cultural program in conjunction with Cairo International Book Fair

The National Library and Archives “NLA” continues its cultural program for the second consecutive day in conjunction with Cairo International Book Fair. It focused on the NLA affairs. The first lecture tackled the NLA’s functions and national educational programs while the second one discussed its history, inception and role in preserving and making documents accessible. This interest emphasizes the importance of introducing the NLA’s new objectives and functions as the NLA is passing through a new stage following the issuance of Law No. (13) of 2021 by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, on changing the name of the National Archives to the National Library and Archives.

The first lecture started by everlasting inspirational words by leaders who developed the UAE and brought prosperity to people and the place in record time. Later, Dr. Husniya Al Ali, Educational Programs Consultant at the NLA, talked about the NLA’s inception, vision, mission and values along with its strategic objectives. Moreover, she demonstrated its functions and regulations and explained in detail its role in archiving, restoration, genealogy and oral history. She also illustrated the government, community and educational services provided by the NLA as well as the collaboration agreements concluded with various vital sectors in the UAE.

In reviewing the history of the NLA, she pointed out its role in collecting the history of the UAE and the Gulf region, archiving valuable documents that are of a historical significance and making them accessible. After that she presented the services offered in the fields of archiving, documents preservation and restoration of documents that are about to be damaged. In this sense, she highlighted the types of documents for which this service is created and restoration kinds, stages and objective. She then moved to tracing lineages, methods adopted in this service and in recording lineages and genealogy studies objective. With regards to the oral history, she pointed out the targeted audience, role of specialists in this domain and oral history importance and purpose.

The Educational Programs Consultant stated that the NLA educational services are aimed to spread awareness about national values that foster the concepts of loyalty and belonging to the homeland, highlight ideal examples to generations, instill good behavior and positive habits among youngsters and activate the wise leadership’s initiatives and directives. The lecturer then tackled the NLA’s services and tools.

She concluded the lecture with the NLA’s community services and listed its accessible facilities.

Mr. Hamad Al Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department, and Mr. Hatem Younis, Archives Expert, delivered the second lecture about the NLA’s history, inception and role in preserving and making documents accessible. Al Mutairi provided a historical overview on the significant milestones of the NLA history, which is over 54 years and on Federal Law No. (7) of 2008 and the executive regulation thereof. He then explained in detail each stage of the archival chain at the NLA from documents collection to processing and preservation until making them accessible, which is the ultimate objective.

He also talked about the NLA’s role in preparing, qualifying and developing cadres in the field of records management and archival sciences, highlighting the collaboration with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in the following scientific and academic specializations: the Professional Certificate in Archives and Records Management, Bachelor in Records Management and Archival Science and Master in Records Management and Archival Studies.

The Director of the Archives Department concluded with an introduction to the ICA Congress to be hosted in Abu Dhabi in October 2023, noting that it is the largest archival event that is held every four years. The congress will discuss several subjects and core issues related to the archives future.

The Archives Expert explained the research methods of sources of information and documents pertaining to the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region, noting the importance of the electronic portal of the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive, which contains thousands of historical records and multimedia that are made available on the internet for free by the NLA, and the importance of exhibitions and museums in developing knowledge and historical awareness of the UAE.

Having defined documents and oral history and illustrated how to collect, preserve and making historical archives available, he presented the NLA’s role in converting documents into electronic form to become accessible to researchers and those who are interested in the history and heritage of the UAE and Gulf region.