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Thursday 08 September ,2016

The National Archives submits two papers to the Congress of the International Council on Archives in Seoul

On its achievements, projects and advanced technologies

The National Archives submits two papers to the Congress of the International Council on Archives in Seoul

The National Archives of the United Arab Emirates submitted two important research papers to the ICA congress, which is currently being held in Seoul, the Korean Capital. The first paper is entitled: “The National Archives of the UAE:  the Memory of the Nation”, and the second paper dealt with the smart solutions adopted by the National Archives.

In the presence of David Fricker, President of the International Council on Archives, HE Dr. Ali Saleh Bin Tamim, member of the Board of the National Archives and Chairman of the Executive Committee, and more than 3,000 participants and followers, HE Majid Sultan Al Muhairi, Executive Director of the National Archives, presented a paper about the National Archives being the keeper of the Memory of the Nation. The paper was translated into five languages, and dealt briefly with the history of the National archives, its vision which seeks leadership in providing distinctive archival, documentation and research services, and its mission which is to preserve the documentary heritage to provide decision makers and the public with documented and trusted information, and to enhance the sense of belonging and national identity.

His Excellency pointed out the prominent role of the National Archives, especially the availability of its collection to the public. In order to enrich its historical archives and to benefit from advanced modern skills and expertise, the NA reinforced collaboration and partnerships, and  managed to initiate activities that turn all citizens into partners involved in documenting and preserving their own historical records and documents. Accordingly, it used the latest technology and made its smart applications available on mobile phones and tablets, contributing to promoting loyalty and belonging to the homeland and enhancing of the national identity. He added that the National Archives also collected oral history and oral narratives of the elderly who lived through the pre-union era and witnessed the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, thanks to the efforts of the founding fathers led by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The NA owns hundreds of hours of video interviews, where oral history complements what has not been documented by written history.

One of the most prominent and reverberating documentation projects is “Watheq”, which aims at preserving personal documents and records. Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the National Archives, and in collaboration with its strategic partners, the National Archives has been able to deliver “Watheq” boxes to all Emirati families. Moreover, “My Archive My Future” is an ensuing project addressed to students to raise their awareness of the importance of documents and the methods of properly preserving them for the future.

The National Archives participated in the proceedings of the ICA congress with another paper entitled: “Smart Solutions at Work”, presented by Mr. Hamad Al Mutairi. The paper focused on the National Archives’ innovative projects and initiatives that were designed to promote its services and making them accessible to all citizens in smart applications that could be downloaded on mobile phones owned by 90% of Emiratis. In order to make these innovative solutions compatible with the developments of the 21st century, the NA set up formulas that are relevant to dealing with users, and is working hard to attract the largest number of partners and users outside its traditional scope; therefore, it retains films, photos and historical documents which record the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in December 1971, leading to its latest achievements in all fields.

The National Archives employs smart applications to make its important publications available to readers and users, and was a pioneer in its initiative to put eighteen volumes of the Emirates Sheikhs’ Diaries on a smart application enabling the browser to access the required information easily and smoothly.

The two papers shed light on electronic and smart initiatives that contributed to disseminating the culture of archiving and documentation in the Emirati society, and they discussed the smart solutions and their impact on archival work.