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Sunday 14 February ,2021

The National Archives impresses visitors with historical documents that open a window onto the UAE history

The National Archives impresses visitors with historical documents that open a window onto the UAE history

The National Archives’ Memory of Nation platform at Sheikh Zayed Festival showcases numerous historical documents, the oldest of which dates back to the 17th century. The National Archives has offered festival visitors, who are interested in these documents because of their great significance in the UAE’s history, the opportunity to view such invaluable holdings using amazing techniques successfully.

Old historical documents were displayed at the Memory of Nation platform due to their significance in writing history and their role in fostering and maintaining the national identity.

Among the most significant historical documents displayed at the platform are: the Preliminary Agreement between Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Dhiab, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and the British government in 1820, a letter from Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Dhiab Al Falahi in Abu Dhabi to the British political agent in 1821, and an acknowledgment from Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed the First, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to the British government regarding an oil exploration concession in May 1922, in addition to outline drawings of Kalba Fort, which fell under the Portuguese control in 1624, a Portuguese fort built in Khor Fakkan in 1620 and Al Bidiya Fort, which was seized by Portuguese in 1623. They also include many other old historical documents bearing witness to history and events and containing ample information which unveil past events, so they captured the attention of the festival visitors that they took pictures of them.

The National Archives is interested in displaying historical documents at the platform because of their importance to researchers, academics and to those interested in the UAE’s history. It is worth noting that the National Archives’ holdings include historical documents pertaining to the UAE history as well as the Gulf region as researchers take advantage of them to learn about the ancestors’ past and the ancient civilizations.

The National Archives maintains millions of archival materials and historical documents compiled from all over the world, and it continues to collect important documents related to the UAE in order to achieve its main objective of building a modern national archive. It also uses the most recent technologies in preserving and providing accessibility to its unique and important holdings and historical documents, which contain historical information on the most significant events in the UAE and the Gulf region and key information about the UAE areas which witnessed major events and changes. Besides, the documents contain aspects of the biographies of the great leaders and sincere citizens and they highlight the UAE’s unique union experience.

The National Archives maintains diverse historical documents including written correspondences and agreements as well as thousands of photos, maps and multimedia to aid decision makers, and it makes them accessible to researchers to find out about the region’s history and to young generations to draw lessons from them.

The National Archives employs its documentary asset in its historical publications and its photographs and multimedia in the exhibitions it organizes, mainly the ‘Memory of Nation’ platform with which it has participated in Sheikh Zayed Festival for eight years.

The National Archives

The National Archives of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs was first established in 1968 upon the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with the aim of collecting documents and information relating to the history and heritage of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region. Forty years later, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, issued Federal Law No. (7) of 2008 changing its name to the National Center for Documentation and Research (NCDR), and assigning it to organize the archives of the various UAE government entities. Finally, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Law No. (1) of 2014, renaming it the National Archives.